New Pizzeria Preps to Open
View from the Second floor shows carpenters at work – photos 250News
Prince George B.C. – It may be called Betulla Burning, but the name has nothing to do with a fire which destroyed the previous building on the Third Avenue site.
It was May of 2015 when the site , undergoing renovations to become the new pizzeria , went up in flames. “We decided on the name Betulla Burning, before we had the fire that destroyed the building in May 2015” says co-owner Garret Fedorkiw.
“Betulla is the Italian name for ‘birch’ and birch is the wood we will be burning in the fire” adds Fedorkiw. The fire he refers to is what heats up the 6 thousand pound oven that came direct from Naples. “We commissioned one of the top builders, 3rd generation pizza oven builder, to build our oven in Naples Italy. Our oven is massive, wood fired, and the focus of our entire restaurant.”
As luck would have it, the oven was being shipped in the spring of 2015 and initially landed at a port in Texas. The port was on strike at the time and the oven had to sit there until the labour dispute could be settled, a good thing too, because had it arrived as originally planned, it would have been in place in the building when the building burned in May of that year.
The entire restaurant has been designed so the oven is the focal point, creating what Fedorkiw calls “pizza theatre” , where the kitchen where the pizzas are cooked is front row center of the restaurant , on view for everyone to watch.
Fedorkiw says they are sourcing the ingredients for the pizzas from regional farmers, and have even discovered wild mushrooms in the region. In addition to supplies from regional farmers, Betulla Burning is curing meat and growing its own mushrooms on site in two specially designed compartments. The humidity from the meat curing operation is being re-directed to the mushroom growing facility.
Fedorkiw and business partner Eoin Foley have already achieved success with neighbouring Nancy O’s restaurant which opened 7 years ago. ” I remember when we opened we had a cash advancer on one side and two pawn shops on the other and we thought nothing of it. The only place where you can find great character, atmosphere and community in our City is downtown, so this is where we had to be.”
Certainly the mood in downtown Prince George has changed over the past couple of years, as others make the decision to locate their business in the core, “There has never before been a buzz about downtown as there is right now, it’s pretty incredible” says Fedorkiw who predicts good things for the downtown “There’s a lot going on down here. It takes time to get to that tipping point where it happens, slowly, slowly, then it takes off exponentially once other investors see it’s working, so I think we are getting close ( to the tipping point) I feel it.”
Staff have been training over the past week, and carpenters are putting the final touches on counter areas but Fedorkiw is hopeful Betulla Burning will have a “soft” opening next week and a grand opening shortly after that.