History amalgamates with authenticity.
Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza in an historical Nelson building, Matt Dewar brings a unique dining experience to Nelson CBD.
Matt Dewar has taken the iconic Fords building in the heart of Nelson City and combined this with a New York pizzeria to create an exciting amalgamation, which is Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza on Trafalgar Street, in Nelson. Christchurch based businessman has a love and a passion to bring this American style pizzeria to New Zealand. The inviting feeling as you walk through the doors, is conveyed within the traditional Sal’s décor.
Sal’s signature brick wall consisting of approximately 900 bricks, has replaced the previously mirrored wall and is the largest out of all the restaurants. Local bricklayers took two weeks to complete the build, sourcing second hand bricks both locally and throughout the South Island.
Traditional high ceilings give ambience to the restaurant, the floors are the original hardwood and part of the Fords wooden walls have been retained. Each restaurant has a large photo wall with an iconic American scene. No two photos are the same within the Sal’s chain and the choice for Nelson is the iconic Brooklyn bridge. Within their range of pizzas to select from you are spoilt for choice, but as you purchase by the slice you can try more than one flavour. There are options to add extras, such as a garlic knot, pepperoni wheel or authentic dipping sauces to your order.
Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza is a licensed restaurant and has teamed up with local brewer, Golden Bear. Their large 18-inch pizzas are full of the best ingredients sourced and imported from America, made on site in their kitchen. Keeping in line with tradition, only 3 ingredients top these pizzas, lavished with traditional sauce, on a slow risen dough base made using genuine New York Milled Hard Spring Wheat flour. All the base ingredients used in the restaurant are imported from America, exclusive and unique to Sal’s. Ingredients are imported in bulk stocking all the New Zealand restaurants, making sure every pizza is uniform throughout each restaurant.
Chefs in the Nelson restaurant make the daily supply of dough for both Nelson and Richmond shops and with the vision of setting up restaurants in the Motueka and Blenheim area, it is big enough to supply these too. Sal’s pizzeria also caters for those on a short time frame, be it lunch time or an on-the-go meal. You can choose from their ever-rotating cabinet pizza range, size it up with a garlic knot and a drink for takeaway or sit in the American diner style booth. Handy to the Nelson nightlife, Sal’s pizza is the perfect venue for an evening meal and watching sports on the big screen. With two big screens donning each side of the restaurant, no one will miss that slam dunk, try or goal.
Sal’s Pizza is one of 40 New Zealand restaurants from Auckland to Wanaka. Matt’s inspiration to open his own Sal’s franchise came from being involved with a good friend’s restaurant in Auckland, where he watched the rapid growth and popularity of this unique pizza experience.
Being an ex-Waimea boy, Matt decided to extend the South Island growth here in the top of the south. He opened the first restaurant in Richmond in August of 2020, a year of tough times for the hospitality industry being complicated by COVID and the fallout from restrictions and staff shortages. This was a true test of how a restaurant that challenges the way of enjoying pizza would stand up in these times. Nearly two years later in April 2022, Matt opened a second Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza in the heart of Nelson, being the 9th restaurant established out of 10 in the South Island.
Being based in Christchurch, Matt flies up regularly to support his managers and connect with staff. He believes in upskilling within the company and supporting all his staff within their roles. Community minded, Matt supports grass roots sports by way of ‘player of the day’ certificates. Further up the sports ladder, Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza is a naming rights partner for the NBL, in turn supporting our local Giants basketball team. He promotes diners to come and take their time in the restaurant, to sit and dine, experiencing the social ambience of a true American pizzeria.
Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza is warm and inviting, a restaurant where people can socialize, eat great pizza New York style and enjoy a local craft beer.
Explore the virtual tour at Sal’s Pizza
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Fantastic article, great to get an insight into the people behind our local businesses.