Bob Zincoris and Tony Perry, the owners of Katy’s Big Z’s Pizza House & Brew, learned the art of cooking from their mother. The brothers’ restaurant now features many of her recipes, including the pizza dough.
“Everyone that comes in, I know they can taste the passion that we have for what we do,” Zincoris said.
Big Z’s features a thin-crust Chicago neighborhood square-cut pizza along with the classic deep dish and a dipped Italian beef sandwich.
“It’s been a dream of mine for about 20 years,” Zincoris said. “Growing up in Texas means you want to be a pitmaster. Growing up in Chicago you want to own a pizzeria or a bar. I wrote a menu 20 years ago to go along with this dream, and I’ve always had that menu tucked away in a drawer in my nightstand. I’d look at it every once in a while.”
Zincoris and Perry grew up in Chicago and moved to Texas for jobs in the oil and gas industry. After the third downturn of his career in 2017, Zincoris knew he had to start making moves to achieve his dream of opening a pizzeria, and Perry was on board.
“I was traveling a lot with oil and gas, so we would get different ideas from every place we went,” Zincoris said. “We’d go out to Louisiana, and there’d be nothing but frog legs and oysters, and so we came up with a swamp pizza. We went out to Odessa, and they had this really great pizza place out there where you could write on the walls, and they had this awesome oven.”
Big Z’s celebrated its one-year anniversary Oct. 18. The brothers had about four months to build a customer base before the pandemic affected almost every business model in the restaurant and entertainment businesses around the world.
“It’s a giant challenge, but you could only look at it as a glass half full. To open up a restaurant you have to jump through many hoops just to open your doors, and when the coronavirus hit, I was still in that hoop-jumping mode, so I was like, ‘Woah, one more hoop we have to jump through.’”
The Katy location is hosting karaoke on Tuesday nights, bingo, ladies nights and happy hours. The eatery has also donated pizzas to nursing homes and given discounts to coaching staff at local high schools throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic this year.
“I’d love to turn Big Z’s pizza into the best pizza in Texas,” Zincoris said. “I offer Chicago-style pizza, but I would love to redefine pizza in Texas. ... If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”
Big Z's Pizza House & Brew
2004 Mason Road, Ste. A1, Katy
Hours: Sun-Thu. noon-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. noon-11 p.m.