You can sample Park Avenue, Central Park, Times Square and the other pizzas named after Big Apple landmarks at the new Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint in Madison.
Serving dinner and offering street-side food and take-out options, Sal & Mookie’s is located in Colony Crossing Shopping Center, which is at the corner of Highway 463 and Bozeman Road. Lunch service is expected to begin this month after additional staff are hired and trained.
The restaurant occupies the newly renovated space that Georgia Blue vacated after moving to its new location at 202 Baptist Drive in Madison.
On the menu, New York style pizzas, Little Italy pasta, appetizers, wings, salads, subs, paninis and flame-grilled burgers that restaurant owners Jackson Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal were introduced in 2007 when Sal & Mookie’s debuted in Jackson. in the historic district of Fondren.
Sal & Mookie’s ice cream parlor, known for its splits, shakes, malts, floats and scoops, is part of the operation in Madison. The same goes for the Pie Lounge (open to anyone 18 or older), which offers local and regional craft beers, a fully stocked bar, frozen drinks for adults, and personalized cocktails.
Sal & Mookies in Jackson instrumental
“We couldn’t have done it without Jeff (Good) and Dan (Blumenthal),” said Patrick Munn, who, along with his fiancee, Hali Sappington, owns Madison Sal & Mookie’s, which is backed by 26 investors.
“Jeff and Dan helped us write the business plan, participated in the training process and were on deck two weeks before the opening and two weeks after the opening.
“Jeff helped us out with people he knew and Hali and I knew and Dan knew for the investor list. Everything we were struggling to get because of COVID like food items and menu covers we borrowed from Sal and Mookie’s in Jackson.
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Munn and Sappington are restaurant industry veterans, who first met while working at the Bonefish Grill in Madison, just across the parking lot from Sal & Mookie’s.
Owning their own restaurant was a goal they shared and worked for together.
The owners have worked in several local restaurants
They worked with some of the region’s most prominent and influential restaurateurs, chefs and managers for over 15 years before becoming owners themselves.
Their experience is wide, ranging from the dining room to the kitchen.
“It’s our passion. We love it, ”said Munn, who was previously Service Manager at Bravo! Italian restaurant and bar, another creation of Good and Blumenthal.
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Munn has gained experience at Nick’s, AJ’s on the Lake and Seafood Revolution, and Sappington has gained experience at AJ’s on the Lake, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Babalu, Local 463 Urban Kitchen and Bravo! Italian restaurant and bar.
Sappington created the cocktail menu and most recently handled liquor orders at Bravo! where she worked as a head bartender. “She’s great when it comes to cocktails.” Munn said.
COVID-19 delayed, but did not overcome, opening
The outbreak of the new coronavirus delayed the renovation of the restaurant and postponed the opening of Sal & Mookie’s from May 15 to August 11.
“We signed the lease on February 1, then COVID hit,” Munn said. “It slowed down our entrepreneurs. The contractor had to work with a limited crew.
Due to the reduced number of crew, Munn, Sappington and Chef Curtis Rose, also a former employee of Bonefish Grill, made as many renovations as possible in order to keep them going.
“Curtis was there day in and day out to work on the construction,” Munn said. “He helped pound the kitchen floor so the pipes could be installed. “
During construction, several walls were knocked down to make the restaurant more open and a pizza viewing window was added so it was easy to watch the dough being tossed and the pies being assembled.
Private dining rooms, special rentals
The 6,000-square-foot restaurant in Madison can seat 95 people while operating at half its capacity due to COVID-19, and it has two private dining rooms.
A large private dining room, decorated with a mural of the 90s New York skyline and fairy lights, seats up to 60 people and a small private dining room seats 20 people.
The small private dining room can be outfitted with video game consoles, on request, and rented out as well for birthdays and other occasions, Munn said.
“Our PlayStations have just arrived,” he said. “We are waiting on our Xbox. “
Area residents have embraced the restaurant since it opened, Munn said.
The center where the restaurant is located is convenient and is home to many retailers, Sappington said.
“There’s a grocery store in the same mall and a Home Depot and now Sal & Mookie’s,” she said. “There is a lot of traffic in this neighborhood.
Sal & Mookie’s in Madison, just like Jackson’s, is the kind of place where almost everyone in a family can find something they love on the menu, whether it’s pizza, burger, salad, or can -be wings. And, adults can enjoy a drink of their choice.
Pizza, ice cream and more on the menu
New York pizza is the star of the show.
Popular pizza choices include Riker’s Island (Italian plum tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, green peppers, mushrooms, red onions and Kalamata olives), the Meat Packing District (Italian plum tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage, prosciutto and Genoa salami) and the 4th Train (homemade spicy chipotle BBQ sauce, strong yellow cheddar, mozzarella, choice of roast pork loin or grilled chicken, corn, red onions and fresh cilantro).
Quality ingredients and high quality toppings make pizza what it is, Munn said. Gluten-free and gluten-sensitive crusts are available.
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“We put a lot of love into it,” he said. “Dan (Blumenthal) and Jon Pixler, Executive Chef of Bravo !, Broadstreet Baking Company & Café and Sal & Mookie’s, went to New York and tried many different pizzas and spent six months perfecting the crust.”
Sal & Mookie’s makes it easy to complement a meal with ice cream, make it into a meal on its own, or make it a reason to stop and feast.
“We have a service window at the front of the restaurant, so you can just go outside and order ice cream,” Munn said.
Madison’s location serves 24 flavors of ice cream, from the Blue Bell and Blue Bunny brands. “We picked the best of the two brands and used it,” Munn said.
If you are going to
Sal & Mookie’s at 111 Colony Crossing, Suite 130, is open Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
“When we start serving lunch, we’ll open every day at 11:00 am,” Munn said.