Famous Original J’s — the pizza spinoff of Rosenberg’s Bagels — is finally here

They’ll sling New York-style pizza from the patio at the 715 Club.

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Rosenberg's Bagels owner Josh Pollack, April 20, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Rosenberg's Bagels owner Josh Pollack, April 20, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Hey, remember this time last year? When we told you the Rosenberg’s Bagels people were making pizza?

Maybe you don’t  — the shop was doling out sample slices on 4/20, after all — but stick with me here. It’s been a year since Rosenberg’s owner and dough scientist Joshua Pollack announced his intention to open a pizza joint attached the 715 Club, and it’s finally here.

OK, almost finally here. The grand opening is set for 4/20. (Duh!)

From the 260-square-foot, they’ll sling two kinds of pies: a traditional East Coast-style pie and the Grandma pie, which pays homage to iconic Prince Street Pizza in New York City’s Little Italy. It’s got a thick, square crust topped first with cheese then with sauce.

Native New Yorker and longtime Rosenberg’s cook Mat Shumaker will head the pizza kitchen.

And, of course, Pollack will do what he does for bagels with his pizza and use science to make the dough perfectly East Coast. In case you’ve forgotten the spiel, here it is, straight from the press release: “A proprietary
filtration system uses reverse osmosis to strip Denver tap water of its minerals, then reintroduces them in the same specific proportions found in New York, which contributes to the strength of the gluten in the dough, resulting in authentic, perfectly crispy-yet-chewy bagels, and now, pizza crust.”

“The key to good pizza is you want it to be able to fold and not crack,” Pollack told us last year, “and when you fold it you want it to be able to hold and not flip over.”

A pepperoni slice from Famous Original J's on the patio at the 715 Club. (Photo: Kevin Galaba)

A pepperoni slice from Famous Original J's on the patio at the 715 Club. (Photo: Kevin Galaba)

Now about the name. As you may or may not remember (again, we know it might have been that that kind of day) this pizza place was supposed to be called Famous Original Ray’s Pizza.

The name was a tribute to New York’s weird thing with pizza places with names like that —  Ray’s, Original Ray’s, Famous Ray’s, Famous Original Ray’s, etc. (Read this Gothamist piece about finding the for-real original Ray’s if you’re curious.)

But for legal reasons you can guess at, and which The Know explains, that name didn’t work out. Instead, it’ll be called Famous Original J’s, maintaining the New York tribute and subbing in the common Pollack family first initial.

As for the location, it just made sense to stay in the neighborhood.

“What’s always attracted me to this neighborhood is that it reminds me of where I’m from. It feels like home,” Pollacks said. “I’m excited to bring this nostalgic, happy place to the Five Points community. Nothing says ‘home’ to me more than grabbing a late-night slice at the neighborhood pizza shop.”

Famous Original J’s, 715 E. 26th Ave., will be open from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. to whenever they decide to close Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday.