Brooklynn’s Pizzeria owner Brad “Bobber” White has been tossing pies for 25 years on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and 10th Street downtown, rolling out both the dough and red carpet for late-night diners. Swillin’ caught up with him for his take on all things ‘za in the ‘Boat.
How did you first get into the pizza biz?
Oh, man. My dad was in construction, so growing up I knew what I didn’t want to do. I worked my ass off through high school hanging sheet rock and stuff. Then I got my first real job delivering pies on campus in Bloomington, Indiana, for Max’s and Papa John’s, making twice as much. I moved here in 1989 right after high school, then went back to college, then came back and worked at Cugino’s for three years. Back then you couldn’t get a pizza anywhere after 9 p.m.in town, so I said, ‘Why not open one?’
You ever think you’d be at it slinging pizza for 25 years?
Not really, but I was only 24 when I started Brooklynn’s, so I’ve been at it longer than how old I was when I began. But I never really thought that far ahead back then.
What’s the secret to your success?
I think it’s just putting out a consistent, good product. I’m a professional ski bum, but I know that as long as the pizza tastes good, that’s what matters.
We make our dough fresh every day, but it takes practice.
What’s the key to making a great ‘za?
We make it New York-style, with a thin crust and not a crazy amount of cheese. People always kill their pizzas with extra cheese. We do it the same way I learned it at Max’s. That’s their recipe and they taught me how to do it. Too much cheese just makes it all greasy and sloppy. And the sauce is key, too. You know how sometimes you get a pizza and say, ‘Hey is there even any sauce on this?’ You need the right amount of sauce on there as well.
How hard is it to toss the dough?
We make our dough fresh every day, but It takes practice. You need a good spiral. But some people don’t even spin, they just lay it on out there. Some people get all crazy with spinning, which makes it all thin in the middle. It has to be even. You can’t have the middle paper thin and the edges all thick. It’s like handling a dozen eggs; you have to be gentle.
What’s your best seller?
The straight-up pepperoni by far. That’s probably followed by our Meat-lovers and Veggie.
Tell us about your wall of shame:
Well, we just painted the whole inside so we took a bunch of those photos down. But I got some others to add that are a little more current, with shots of snowmobiling, biking, camping and Steamboat. I also have a few new signs up, saying things like “Eat, Sleep, Ski” and “There’s No Time Like River Time.”