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Building a better pizza pie

New pizzeria opens for business, brings Friday fish fry back to Cazenovia

Jim McGinnis, owner of the newly-opened Owahgena Pizzeria, stands in the renovated restaurant on April 13. The business offers an extensive menu, and regular fish fry every Friday.

Jim McGinnis, owner of the newly-opened Owahgena Pizzeria, stands in the renovated restaurant on April 13. The business offers an extensive menu, and regular fish fry every Friday. Photo by Pierce Smith.

— Owahgena Pizzeria, the newest eatery to inhabit 118 Albany St., is hoping to give the established pizzeria up the road a run for its money.

The new dine-in/take-out restaurant, complete with a brick-oven, extensive menu and regular fish fries every Friday, opened its doors to the diners of Cazenovia on April 2.

“All of our pizzas are hand-tossed, the old-fashioned way, and cooked on a stone in the brick oven,” said Owner Jim McGinnis. “We use only the best ingredients.”

A former Kaufman’s Bakery delivery driver, McGinnis jumped at the opportunity to open his own pizza parlor. He spent more than three months training and developing a flavorful formula with pizza-professional Paul Alteri in Clark Mills, then bought a house in Cazenovia and brought his new business to Albany Street.

“I always wanted to have a pizza shop, and it seemed like this was the best time for me to do it,” McGinnis said. “I wanted to find the right person to train me, not just anyone in the business. I might expand the menu down the road, but for now we’re concentrating on offering great pizzas, wings, hot and cold subs and salads.”

Aside from using quality ingredients and a special oven, McGinnis prides Owahgena Pizzeria on its fish fries. Every Friday, customers can purchase a plate stacked high with fresh haddock, coleslaw and homemade french fries for under $10.

Since opening on April 2, the dish has made a welcomed return to the Albany Street scene — not since the closing of Albert’s Restaurant has regular fish fries been offered in Cazenovia.

“I’ve tried the fish dinner, the pizza and pizza rolls, and each one was wonderful,” said resident Jeanette Robertson. “The fried haddock is a welcomed replacement to the former Albert’s Friday night fish fry.”

Owahgena Pizzeria’s location at 118 Albany St., which has seen the likes of Pepi’s Pizza and the American Pie Pizza Company in the recent past, is estimated to be one of the oldest buildings in Cazenovia, at about 200 years old.

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