Thursday, January 27, 2022

Boardwalk Pizza reopening in Ogden under new ownership

Boardwalk Pizza and Subs will reopen in January under new ownership with Dan and Melanie Dunn. (Courtesy photo)

WILMINGTON — Dan and Melanie Dunn have taken over a popular pizzeria on Gordon Road. After closing last fall, Boardwalk Pizza and Subs will be reopening later this month, under the same name and with mostly the same menu, only upgraded ingredients and tweaked recipes.

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The Dunns moved to an Ogden neighborhood two years ago and loved the nearby pizza shop, which is located in a strip mall, Shoppes at Gordon, next to Tinyz Tavern. Though the old Boardwalk hung its hat on traditional Jersey Shore pies — a swirl pie, specifically, with sauce bubbling through on top — the Dunns, also from Jersey, said the swirls won’t be making it onto the new slate of offerings. 

“The dough we’re making is going to be crispy on the outside, but fluffy on the inside, probably slightly bigger than New York-style pizza,” Dan said. “There’s not a lot of restaurants around here that are doing an all-American or a Midwest-style dough.”

The cheese will be grated Grande and the sauce, Dan said, will be sweeter and less acidic. Yet, the biggest change will come in the seasoning profile. Dan and his son have done barbecue competitions for 15 or so years and created an original blend of spices that will be added to the breading of chicken for its Parmesan sandwich or onto the proteins of the Philly sandwiches, even to the meatballs.

“Eventually, we’ll probably be announcing a partnership where we’re going to sell some spices and sauces as well,” Dan projected.

He also hopes to offer a different kind of pie down the road — one that comes from a smoker, nonetheless.

Boardwalk will be the first restaurant the Dunns have owned. Melanie comes from the food industry, with a background as a corporate troubleshooter for restaurants. Dan has an aviation business and runs a charter fishing boat in Nags Head, which continues to operate.

“But I think that it would be a long time before you don’t see one of us in the restaurant,” he assured. “Our big focus is going to be on quality and consistency — we just want to make sure we can deliver the product in the way that we’re proud of it.”

Little had to be done to the business front itself, Dan said. “It was a turnkey purchase,” with all new equipment.

Inside are 12 seats and there will be outside dining options. The drive-thru window will continue to operate, and the Dunns are going to do a lightning lunch special so people can get in and out in under 30 minutes.

“We will have slices ready to grab at the drive-thru,” Dan said. “And one of the things I know my wife is most proud of is, she’s completely redoing the salads. We’re probably gonna have the best salads coming out of a pizza place in town.”

Boardwalk’s menu includes a dozen pies, as well as a calzone and stromboli, sandwiches, appetizers and even homemade cookies (“my daughter is a great baker,” Dan said).

Hours will be 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekdays, with expanded weekend hours. Boardwalk also will offer delivery and takeout, and is partnering up to deliver food to Tinyz patrons next door, owned by Jason Ruth and Matt Hall.

“The owners are amazing people and we’ve made some preliminary agreements,” Dan said. “So diners will be able to order from over there and have some cocktails, too.”

Boardwalk Pizza is located at 6756 Gordon Rd., unit 190.


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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