Feb 7, 2007

A Sinful Place To Eat

Hell's Kitchen
North Broad Street - West Hazleton, PA
We ordered pizza from Hell's Kitchen for my grandfather's birthday last night.  It's just a few blocks down from their house, so it's a pretty convenient place to pick up dinner.  They also have one of the best pizzas that I've ever had, and I've had a hell of a lot of pizza in my life (no pun intended).

This restaurant has gone under a few different names over the years.  When my dad was a kid, it was Brehm's Restaurant which was owned and operated by Georgie Brehm.  He was my great-great grandmother Christianna Brehm's brother, and he may be the most interesting branch of my family tree.  I'd like to research his life and write more about him at some point, but for now, let's just say that Hazleton wasn't known as Mob City for nothing.
Standard Speaker - Hazleton, PA (May 31, 1975)
Standard Speaker - Hazleton, PA
top left: February 17, 1972 / bottom left: July 19, 1974 / right: July 18, 1979

Brehm's Restaurant remained in business for over 50 years.  From the little bit of research I've done, it seems like Georgie Brehm retired and sold his restaurant on December 14th, 1970 to a company called Ro-Sch Inc.  They kept the original name for a few years, but the restaurant went by several different names throughout the 70's, including The Hut, Gina's Pizza Villa, and The Roman & Greek Warrior's Restaurant & Pizzeria.  Unfortunately, none of the new owners could were able to keep the business going, and the restaurant sat vacant throughout most of the 80's.
Standard Speaker - Hazleton, PA (July 22, 1989)
Standard Speaker - Hazleton, PA
top left: August 9, 1989 / bottom left: November 20, 1989 / top right: October 3, 1990  bottom right: July 3, 1991

The restaurant reopened its doors on July 22, 1989 as J&B Diner, and they operated as a sit-down restaurant.  However, in just over one year, the diner closed and the restaurant became a pizza parlor called Andre's.  I wasn't born when Georgie Brehm ran his restaurant, so I've always thought of this building as the old Andre's Pizzeria.  It's the place where my grandparents would order pizza from when I was in middle school, and it's the place that my friends and I would stop for a slice and a Farmer's Iced Tea when I was a teenager.

Andre's stayed in business throughout the 90's and into the early 2000's, but they closed shortly after someone sued them after slipping on some ice on the stairs that led up to their front door.
Standard Speaker - Hazleton, PA (October 9, 2005)

The building was vacant again for a couple of years before it was purchased by its current owners, who bought the business in 2005 and reopened the following year as Hell's Kitchen.  They haven't gone so far as to include the devil in the restaurant or in any of its advertisements, but they're tiptoeing right up to the line.

My only complaint about this special is the price.  Come on, guys!  Do you really need the extra 33 cents?  If you're going to have a coupon for something called the 666 Special, you've got to commit to the bit and charge $6.66.  What would the dark lord say?

Everything that I've tried here has been outstanding.  Their Hell's All Pizza with the secret Hot Hell Sauce is my favorite, but there's no way in hell that my grandparents were going to go for that (pun fully intended this time).  So, for my grandfather's 70th birthday, we ordered a couple of regular cheese pizzas. 

There's nothing fancy about their regular pizza.  It's just a damn good pie with fresh crust, a flavorful seasoned sauce and lots of cheese, and it's sold at a very reasonable price.  They don't even ask for your soul.  If you're ever in the area, give 'em a shot.