Pizza Cat is coming to Greektown next month in the former Ready Player One

Sadly, Greektown has lost its Ready Player One arcade bar, which opened in 2017 with video games, fun cocktails, and food to share. It reopened after the pandemic, but with limited hours, and finally closed permanently earlier this year.

Luckily, a fun new concept is preparing to replace it, so the lower level hangout space won’t be empty for long.

Pizza Cat is a new brand that serves pizza for a variety of dietary needs: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and keto. There’s a Pizza Cat in Toledo, and Pizza Cat Max is set to open in Greektown with a full bar as early as next month.

“We keep the pizza weird,” says co-owner Andre Robinson, who has roots in Detroit’s restaurant industry and was also a radio DJ. He says Pizza Cat will have video games on flat-screen TVs, but no old-school arcade games like Ready Player One. Robinson said that with Checker Bar’s Offworld Arcade just a four-minute walk away, he didn’t want to have the same concept.

“I wanted to kind of pay homage to the fact that Ready Player One came along and they were the first on the market. I kind of wanted to do a bit of that, but mostly focus on pizza and the restoration experience,” he said.

Customizable pizzas will include unique toppings such as pickles and brisket, and Pizza Cat Max will also have a “Trapper’s Alley” pizza decorated as a coney dog. In addition to round pizzas, Pizza Cat also sells chicken and steamed bagels topped like pizzas.

“The other thing that sets us apart is that we bake our pizza in pie pans. Literally, we fry the bread in the oven and it’s an edge-to-edge pizza. Most people have a crust half an inch. We’re not wasting time wasting bread like that, we’re using the whole surface of that pizza or pie for edge-to-edge cheese.”

Robinson said he and his Pizza Cat partner, Matt Wojtowicz, plan to launch three versions of their franchise: a standard take-out pizza restaurant, a Pizza Cat Express for airports or office buildings, and the Pizza Cat Max, a full service bar and restaurant.

While Robinson said he’s worked for other brands and restaurants in town before, he’s excited to be living his own dream.

“The Pizza Cat thing is just an amazing opportunity,” he said. “I love pizza and you can never have enough pizza anywhere.”

Once open, Pizza Cat will be at 407 E. Fort in Detroit. Visit pizzacat.com for more information.

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Twitter: @melodybaetens

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