New Zealanders Jade Gray, known for his role in Pyro Pizza in Wudaokou, and John O’Loghlen, whose resume includes a stint with Domino’s Pizza, are teaming up to launch Gung Ho Pizza in the China View complex on Workers Stadium East Road.
Gung Ho is slated to open July 8 in the former Alba Italian restaurant space with a month-long buy one, get one free promotion. Given the modest amount of seating, look for delivery to drive this business, with a dozen electric vehicles already on site and decorated with the Gung Ho brand. Large pizzas will range in price from RMB55 to RMB95 on a menu that will include pastas and salads.
According to an email from Rich Akers, who is handling marketing, we can expect, “a delivery experience offering 10 signature gourmet pizzas, available with plain and whole-meal bases, using the freshest ingredients, a bunch of New Zealand mozzarella, and offering a handful of homemade spinach pastas and knock-out salads. Throw in some classic New Zealand red and white vino, micro brews and a range of freshly squeezed fruit juices and you have Gung Ho Pizza.”
The email describes how Gray and O’Loghlen went on a quest to the eastern U.S., the Mediterranean, and even Sweden “in search of the perfect pizza“, and eventually found it only after a return home: “They wound up on Waiheke pretty happy with the Pinot Gris and oysters and had a Gung Ho Moment… Artisanal food, simple ingredients, cheeky fusion, use what you’ve got, keep it healthy and hearty; they had found their perfect slice at a ‘Pizzeria Shack‘ on the side of the road next to another idyllic Kiwi beach.”
Back in Beijing, they worked with ex-Orchard, Element Fresh, Kro’s Nest, etc chef Jeffrey Powell on the recipes and nine months later the place is almost ready to go. Local pie competitors include specialists The Tree, La Pizza, and The Kro’s Nest, as well as spots such as The Den, Danger Doyle’s, L’Isola, and Bella.