June 14, 2014 at 2:08 PM
FANWOOD, NJ – If you want to get sample a slice of life in Fanwood, Nick’s Pizza would be a good place to start.
You can see lots of happy faces in the photographs that line the walls at Nick’s, which is a popular spot for local kids who can ride their bikes or walk to the pizzeria at 42 S. Martine Ave. in Fanwood. Even kids who live outside biking or walking distance are familiar with Nick’s since the restaurant makes pizza for the Thursday “Pizza Day” at schools in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood school district.
“I want to make people happy when they walk in here,” says Nick’s Pizza owner Paul Watterson, a self-taught chef who always loved to cook and entertain large gatherings or people.
Nick’s serves fresh and innovative Italian cuisine, including a wide selections of pizzas, salads, entrees, pasta, and sandwiches. The gregarious, yet camera-shy, Watterson takes pride in innovations, including his Chicken Finger with French Fries and Honey Mustard pie -- the top seller among his specialty items -- Buffalo Chicken and Gorgonzola, Tomato Pesto pie, and the imaginative Chocolate Chip cookie pie.
“The other day, a boy came in and asked for it. We had just sold our last slice, and he looked so disappointed. I told him mother I would make another one, so if she wanted to wait for 10 minutes, he could have one,” said Watterson. “His face lit up. It was like Mean Joe Greene tossing the coke to the kid in the old TV commercial.”
The restaurant is very much a family affair. Watterson’s wife, Jessica, is co-owner, and son’s Rob (24), Brandon (20), and Nick (12), for whom the pizzeria is named, are all involved in some manner.
Watterson will soon introduce pizza wraps, including grilled chicken and red peppers, and is offering $6.99 pies from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m. during the Tuesday Night Movie Nights in LaGrande Park this summer. The staff at Nick’s takes Movie Night very seriously and dresses up to make it a fun evening for their customers and themselves.
On Father’s Day, June 15, Watterson is preparing a monster, six-foot Meatball Parmigiana sub and will offer a free slice of it – or a free slice of pizza for the vegetarian – to dads who come into Nick’s. Offering 20 percent off all orders all day long. So moms, make sure the dads make the call when placing the orders.
Another special day will be Tuesday, June 23rd, Nick’s second anniversary. The pizzeria will offer plain pizzas at a special price of $6.23 and will offer free birthday cake made by Calandra’s Italian Bakery in Newark, one of the best in the state.
“Our anniversary party isn’t a celebration of us. It’s a thank you to all of our loyal customers,” Watterson said. “The lacrosse, baseball, soccer, and Pop Warner football teams all support us, and the local families and kids in the neighborhood are so loyal. We want to take care of them so that they keep coming back.”