* Learn more online at facebook.com/localslice.
* See details of Pizzeria Cortile’s Kickstarter fund-raising campaign online at www.kickstarter.com/projects/346152468/pizzeria-cortile-neapolitan-style-wood-fired-pizza.
Say it like this: "Core Tee Lay."
Those mysterious words — surrounded by flames — have been displayed for weeks on giant window cling advertisements in a vacant commercial building at 4400 Dayton Blvd. in Red Bank just one business away from Dub's Place BBQ and Burgers.
It's how to say Pizzeria Cortile, a restaurant that Justin and Amanda Bennett plan to open in late January or early February as the permanent home for Local Slice, the food truck business they started in 2012.
Cortile is Italian for "courtyard" or "gathering place for the community," Justin Bennett said. The restaurant will be that, he hopes — and also will serve as an introduction to the style of thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizza that the Bennetts love and have tasted first-hand during a trip to Naples, Italy.
"The reason we want to open in Red Bank is there's nothing like it here," said Bennett. "We went [to Naples] two years ago. It was a cool experience to eat true Neapolitan pizza. "[The trip] made me feel good about what we're doing."
Pizza Cortile will bake its pizzas in a wood-fired oven — hence the flames on the window clings.
"We're actually importing our oven from Italy," Bennett said.
Bennett plans to serve beer and wine, provided he gets the Red Bank City Council's permission to do so.
Although the Bennetts have splurged on an Italian pizza oven, they did their best to cut costs. For example, Bennett oversaw the work to fix up the building, which he said formerly held a carpet store.
"This building has been sitting here empty for a couple years," Bennett said. "We found an investor to buy the building, and we're leasing from him."
The Bennetts have a Kickstarter campaign through which they hope to "crowdfund" $10,000 in small donations for their business. Donors will be repaid in the form of pizza and T-shirts.
"We're definitely giving away a lot of food," he said. "At the higher giving levels, we'll have pizza parties."
Jordan Miller, the owner of Dub's Place, is happy to see Pizzeria Cortile moving in.
"I think it's fantastic. It'll draw people up my way," Miller said. "It will draw people [who drive on Dayton Boulevard] north of Ashland Terrace, and that's what Red Bank needs."
Bennett, 30, is bullish on Red Bank.
It's where he grew up. It's where he and Amanda — a full-time hairdresser — live their with their toddler son, Otis. And it's the home for Bennett's father's business, Printree Printing and Signage at the other end of Dayton Boulevard, which made the window clings that say "Cor Tee Lay."
"I'm excited about Red Bank being the next up-and-coming place," Bennett said. "It's cheap to open a business here. It's cheap to live here."
People used to ask, "Why Red Bank?" he said. These days, Bennett said, "People are saying, 'Why not Red Bank?'"
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/MeetsForBusiness or twitter.com/meetforbusiness or 423-757-6651.