Hot slice of culture: The pizza museum

Despite America’s obvious love affair with pizza that’s been cooking ever since the pizzeria was introduced to us in 1905, there is no official record for the largest single collection of memorabilia related to the tomato-based cuisine.

That is expected to change July 31 when Guinness Book of World Records officials arrive in Philadelphia to take a count of Fishtowner Brian “Brain” Dwyer’s collection, which is more than 550 pieces and counting.

“It’s kind of amazing that there is no current record,” Dwyer said yesterday at a former flower shop on Frankford Avenue he hopes will become the Pizza Brain restaurant and museum by next spring. “I’ve always loved pizza and then I had this idea. … I want it to be open to grow exponentially.”

Dwyer and three other twentysomethings from the neighborhood have formed the business plan that will make Fishtown home to America’s largest pizza memorabilia museum. Chef Joe Hunter, who approached Dwyer after learning of the collection through the grapevine, will be responsible for the food.

“It wouldn’t fit into any other area in Philadelphia,” said Ryan Anderson, who’s in charge of designing the pizza shop and has already begun showing off the vast collection at recent art shows. “We love the Fishtown-Kensington area and it’ll be great to add this [attraction and restaurant].”

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