ASHLAND -- It seems there can never be enough pizza. Chain joints such as Dominos, Pizza Hut and Little Caesars are staples for the Ashland community, but a new restaurant nestled on Main Street is ready to provide a new kind of pizza to customers.
Ohio Fire, located at 102 E Main St., recently opened its doors after extensive planning and COVID-19 related delays. Owner Brad Bryan -- who also runs O'Bryan's Pub -- signed the lease for the building in late 2019, but opening plans were pushed back due to the pandemic.
Despite the delay, Bryan's excitement for the future of the restaurant has not wavered.
“You couldn’t ask for a better time to open,” he said. “My son and I had looked at fire pizza for some time -- maybe two years -- and we were looking for the right building. It’s downtown, which, I think, downtown’s coming back, and it’s exactly what we were looking for.”
Bryan emphasized that Ohio Fire stands out from other pizza restaurants in the area because they use their own recipes, fresh ingredients and have the unique element of cooking the pizza with open flames rather than on a conveyor belt or a classic oven.
Being a part of the downtown environment was something Bryan was looking for, so when this space opened up he saw it as the perfect opportunity to establish this new restaurant.
“We like being part of downtown. You see Wooster and these other cities with all this stuff downtown, and that’s where, I think, Ashland’s headed, and we want to be part of it. We’ve done our duty.”
Ohio Fire’s menu includes appetizers, salads, subs, specialty pizzas and a build-your-own pizza option. Additionally, there are 20 beers on draft. Fifteen of the beers are craft, and all are from Ohio.
The restaurant features both inside and outside dining as well as a bar.
“It’s something different. There’s probably nine pizza places in town, but ours is different. It tastes different," Bryan said.
"Two weeks ago when we opened up, it was really nifty to see all the people walking up and down the street of Ashland. Back in the old days, my folks were from here, and in the 40's, they’d tell me you couldn’t get up and down the street on the weekend," he continued "So it was nice to see that. Downtown’s not dead, we’re coming back.”
While the restaurant is still getting on its feet, Bryan wants future customers to experience the comfortable environment while enjoying their “fast, hot and delicious” pizza.
“It’s been really good,” Bryan said. “We hope our idea works and that people like it.”