Fishtowner aiming for pizza memorabilia world record

Everything pizza: Bri­an Dwyer thinks his col­lec­tion of pizza re­lated stuff might be the world's largest. He hopes to make the items part of Pizza Brain, a res­taur­ant and pizza mu­seum he plans to open on Frank­ford Av­en­ue.

Bri­an Dwyer digs through boxes of pizza mem­or­ab­il­ia in his house. The items will be on dis­play at his soon-to-be-opened Pizza Brain, a joint pizza par­lor/mu­seum on Fair­mount Av­en­ue in Fishtown.


From its status as the found­ing place of Pennsylvania —Wil­li­am Penn cre­ated a peace pact with the Lenape tribe right at Penn Treaty Park — to its past as a famed ship­build­ing cap­it­al, Fishtown ce­men­ted its place in the his­tory books long ago.

That leg­acy could soon grow, as the neigh­bor­hood is ready to host its own world re­cord.

It’s true.

If Fishtown­er Bri­an Dwyer truly has the largest col­lec­tion of pizza-themed mem­or­ab­il­ia, toys, mu­sic­al re­cord­ings and more, the 26-year-old could go down in the re­cord books.

Talk about pizza with everything: Dwyer seems to have everything with pizza, and he plans to find out late next month if he has more than any­one else in the world when judges from the Guin­ness Book of World Re­cords vis­it the com­munity to ex­am­ine his col­lec­tion.

And, dur­ing an in­ter­view held last week, Dwyer said, he’s not keep­ing his col­lec­tion a secret. In­stead, he in­tends to put it on dis­play for all of the com­munity to view.

But, for Dwyer — who is cur­rently work­ing through city zon­ing is­sues to bring Pizza Brain, a pizza shop and mem­or­ab­il­ia mu­seum, to 2313 Frank­ford Ave. — the idea that he might, in­deed, have the world’s largest col­lec­tion of pizza-themed mem­or­ab­il­ia star­ted as something of a joke.

“I had made jokes say­ing that I had the largest col­lec­tion on the East Coast,” he re­called. 

After do­ing some dig­ging on the In­ter­net, Dwyer said he found that there wasn’t much in­form­a­tion avail­able on any­one else on the East Coast — or Amer­ica, or the plan­et, for that mat­ter — with a sim­il­ar col­lec­tion.

“I found out that there aren’t that many oth­er weirdoes out there col­lect­ing this stuff or re­mem­ber­ing the cul­ture [of pizza],” said Dwyer. “I searched everything I could think of and noth­ing came up.”

Fi­nally, he reached out to Guin­ness World Re­cords, and after some time wait­ing to hear from of­fi­cials from the noted tome of re­cords both out­land­ish and mo­ment­ous, Dwyer fi­nally learned that the cat­egory for largest col­lec­tion of pizza-themed items stands un­col­lec­ted.

“They just said, it’s yours to at­tempt,” he said.

In April, Dwyer got an of­fi­cial in­vit­a­tion, and on Ju­ly 31, Dwyer will host a pub­lic show­ing of his col­lec­tion, where the judge from Guin­ness World Re­cords rule on Dwyer’s pizza bon­anza.

“We are build­ing this place be­cause we love the neigh­bor­hood and the com­munity,” said Dwyer, in dis­cuss­ing his dream of Pizza Brain, in­ten­ded to be a fam­ily-friendly pizza res­taur­ant and mu­seum.

“And, how of­ten is a world re­cord broken in Fishtown?” he asked. “I love shared ex­per­i­ences.”

Dwyer, with the help of Pizza Brain co-col­lab­or­at­or Mi­chael Carter, had me­tic­u­lously cata­loged his col­lec­tion for the world re­cord at­tempt.

From 1 to 4 p.m. on Ju­ly 31, the col­lec­tion will be on view at the art space at the Craft Hustle Gal­lery (formerly Germ Books) at 2005 Frank­ford Ave. Judges will view the col­lec­tion at 3 p.m. and will im­me­di­ately an­nounce if Dwyer does in­deed claim the world’s largest pizza mem­or­ab­il­ia col­lec­tion.

This Sat­urday the guys be­hind Pizza Brain will be hold­ing “Oh, For Pizza’s Sake!”, a con­cert, com­edy show and dance party to help raise money for the ex­pens­ive pizza oven needed for Pizza Brain.

ldquo;Even if we sell out, we will only have a frac­tion of what we need (for the pizza oven),” said Dwyer. “They are really ex­pens­ive.”

For the up­com­ing event, Dwyer hand­picked the acts and he said he hopes the event will be a sort of fun-filled com­munity af­fair.

In fact, Dwyer said he wanted to present the com­munity with time to view his col­lec­tion for the same reas­on. He loves the com­munity and he loves be­ing a part of Fishtown.

And he wants all the world to know.

“I don’t need a plaque,” he said about the up­com­ing world re­cord at­tempt. “I want to make Fishtown a des­tin­a­tion…It’s go­ing to draw people. I want to put [the neigh­bor­hood] on the na­tion­al stage.”

But, they say that be­ing the best makes you a tar­get for oth­ers to topple.

What if by com­ing for­ward with his col­lec­tion, someone steps for­ward to chal­lenge the pizza col­lec­tion re­cord?

“That’s fine. I’d want to find a guy from Dubai or some­place and com­pare notes,” said Dwyer. “That would be a fun com­pet­i­tion.” 

Re­port­er Hay­den Mit­man can be reached at 215-354-3124 or hmit­ 

Buy Pizza Brain an oven

In or­der to help off­set the cost of an ex­pens­ive pizza oven for Pizza Brain, there will be a fun­draiser called “Oh, For Pizza’s Sake.”

The event will be held on Sat­urday, June 25, at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frank­ford Ave.

Set to per­form are:

Neut­ral Milk Motel in a one night only per­form­ance fea­tur­ing Greg Je­hanian and Aaron Weiss of ‘me­withouty­ou’ as well as Dwyer. Also, Mar­tine Brown of Whales and Cops, Kim Tice and oth­ers.

Pat­tern Is Smooth­ment, R&B band Pat­tern is Move­ment and friends.

Auc­tion­eer, made up of mem­bers of Bird­ie Busch, ex-Ad­er­bat and Hunter Gather­er.

Pizza Face, a West Philly-based, pizza lov­ing band.

The Fly­ing Lasagna Broth­ers, which is a com­edy-jug­gling act.

The even­ing will be capped off with a dance party hos­ted by DJ’s from Wild­style. Tick­ets are $15.


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