June 29, 2013
New McGraw pizza shop opens
Enders House of Pizza on Main Street takes over former A Niccos space
McGRAW — After 12 years working for A Pizza and More in Cortland, Brian Enders has opened his own pizzeria in the village in the former A Niccos.
“This is my dream,” Enders said of his business at 6 Main St. “I’ve always wanted my own pizza shop.”
Enders House of Pizza opened its doors June 1 to what Enders described as an “out of control” but successful first night of business. He runs the family-owned pizza shop with his wife, Billi Jo, and their sons Josh, 16, and Matt, 10, as well as the help of five other employees.
Although this is the first time Enders has owned a pizza shop, he is not exactly new to the pizza-making business. He spent 12 years working for A Pizza and More at its downtown Cortland location while patiently waiting for an opportunity to run his own place.
That opportunity came, Enders said, when he went into A Niccos — previously called McGraw Pizzeria — one night to buy a soda and found out the shop was closing. He said making the decision to buy the business was easy.
“I’ve been waiting forever. When I walked in, it just felt right,” Enders said. “That was my opportunity to come in; to reinvent the shop.”
He didn’t waste any time, and Enders said there was only about a month between the time when he learned of the shop’s availability and the grand opening of Enders House of Pizza in June. He finished up his last month at A Pizza and More so he could help with the business surge from the end of SUNY Cortland’s spring semester. Afterward, all he needed to do was a bit of cleaning, add some of his own recipes and, of course, change the business’s name.
Part of the reason he completed the process so quickly was because he knew exactly what he wanted: a nice little shop where people could come in, have fun, order great food and generally have a good time. Enders said he thought people would be excited about his shop, but he was surprised by how fast word spread.
“The community wanted pizza and wings,” Enders said. “And this is definitely a pizza-and-wings town.”
Enders says he has met his objectives so far thanks to support from his family and the community. In fact, Enders House of Pizza is slowly becoming a place where two local rivals can put their differences aside and grab a slice of Enders’ New York-style pizza.
In an attempt to show solidarity between Cincinnatus, where he lives and where his older son, Matt, plays sports, and McGraw, he has baseball and basketball jerseys hung up side by side on the wall. He said it is a show of friendship between the long-standing rival teams.
He said people from both towns have been very supportive, and students and coaches from both teams come into Enders House of Pizza and bust each others’ chops, but it is all in good fun.
“It’s a Cincinnatus/McGraw sort of thing,” Enders said. “They come in for pizza and they have fun.”
Outside of finally being able to do what he has always wanted to do, Enders said one of the best things about his new job is seeing the outpouring of support from the local community.
He added that he was glad to spend more time with his family who are all just as happy about Enders House of Pizza as he is.
“We’re just excited,” he said. “It’s exciting to come to work.”
To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe