Brian Dwyer digs through boxes of pizza memorabilia in his house. The items will be on display at his soon-to-be-opened Pizza Brain, a joint pizza parlor/museum on Fairmount Avenue in Fishtown.
From its status as the founding place of Pennsylvania — William Penn created a peace pact with the Lenape tribe right at Penn Treaty Park — to its past as a famed shipbuilding capital, Fishtown cemented its place in the history books long ago.
That legacy could soon grow, as the neighborhood is ready to host its own world record.
If Fishtowner Brian Dwyer truly has the largest collection of pizza-themed memorabilia, toys, musical recordings and more, the 26-year-old could go down in the record books.
Talk about pizza with everything: Dwyer seems to have everything with pizza, and he plans to find out late next month if he has more than anyone else in the world when judges from the Guinness Book of World Records visit the community to examine his collection.
And, during an interview held last week, Dwyer said, he’s not keeping his collection a secret. Instead, he intends to put it on display for all of the community to view.
But, for Dwyer — who is currently working through city zoning issues to bring Pizza Brain, a pizza shop and memorabilia museum, to 2313 Frankford Ave. — the idea that he might, indeed, have the world’s largest collection of pizza-themed memorabilia started as something of a joke.
“I had made jokes saying that I had the largest collection on the East Coast,” he recalled.
After doing some digging on the Internet, Dwyer said he found that there wasn’t much information available on anyone else on the East Coast — or America, or the planet, for that matter — with a similar collection.
“I found out that there aren’t that many other weirdoes out there collecting this stuff or remembering the culture [of pizza],” said Dwyer. “I searched everything I could think of and nothing came up.”
Finally, he reached out to Guinness World Records, and after some time waiting to hear from officials from the noted tome of records both outlandish and momentous, Dwyer finally learned that the category for largest collection of pizza-themed items stands uncollected.
“They just said, it’s yours to attempt,” he said.
In April, Dwyer got an official invitation, and on July 31, Dwyer will host a public showing of his collection, where the judge from Guinness World Records rule on Dwyer’s pizza bonanza.
“We are building this place because we love the neighborhood and the community,” said Dwyer, in discussing his dream of Pizza Brain, intended to be a family-friendly pizza restaurant and museum.
“And, how often is a world record broken in Fishtown?” he asked. “I love shared experiences.”
Dwyer, with the help of Pizza Brain co-collaborator Michael Carter, had meticulously cataloged his collection for the world record attempt.
From 1 to 4 p.m. on July 31, the collection will be on view at the art space at the Craft Hustle Gallery (formerly Germ Books) at 2005 Frankford Ave. Judges will view the collection at 3 p.m. and will immediately announce if Dwyer does indeed claim the world’s largest pizza memorabilia collection.
This Saturday the guys behind Pizza Brain will be holding “Oh, For Pizza’s Sake!”, a concert, comedy show and dance party to help raise money for the expensive pizza oven needed for Pizza Brain.
ldquo;Even if we sell out, we will only have a fraction of what we need (for the pizza oven),” said Dwyer. “They are really expensive.”
For the upcoming event, Dwyer handpicked the acts and he said he hopes the event will be a sort of fun-filled community affair.
In fact, Dwyer said he wanted to present the community with time to view his collection for the same reason. He loves the community and he loves being a part of Fishtown.
And he wants all the world to know.
“I don’t need a plaque,” he said about the upcoming world record attempt. “I want to make Fishtown a destination…It’s going to draw people. I want to put [the neighborhood] on the national stage.”
But, they say that being the best makes you a target for others to topple.
What if by coming forward with his collection, someone steps forward to challenge the pizza collection record?
“That’s fine. I’d want to find a guy from Dubai or someplace and compare notes,” said Dwyer. “That would be a fun competition.”
Reporter Hayden Mitman can be reached at 215–354–3124 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Buy Pizza Brain an oven
In order to help offset the cost of an expensive pizza oven for Pizza Brain, there will be a fundraiser called “Oh, For Pizza’s Sake.”
The event will be held on Saturday, June 25, at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave.
Set to perform are:
Neutral Milk Motel in a one night only performance featuring Greg Jehanian and Aaron Weiss of ‘mewithoutyou’ as well as Dwyer. Also, Martine Brown of Whales and Cops, Kim Tice and others.
Pattern Is Smoothment, R&B band Pattern is Movement and friends.
Auctioneer, made up of members of Birdie Busch, ex-Aderbat and Hunter Gatherer.
Pizza Face, a West Philly-based, pizza loving band.
The Flying Lasagna Brothers, which is a comedy-juggling act.
The evening will be capped off with a dance party hosted by DJ’s from Wildstyle. Tickets are $15.