June 8, 2021 by Ally Donnelly
"Until you've actually tasted it and had it, I just don't think you fully understand." –Mark Gould
This week, we dive into the hot-from-the-oven world of South Shore bar pizza. There are fierce rivalries, ferocious loyalties and opinions on everything from burnt edges to baked beans (don't even get them started on pineapple). It's a fascinating conversation. We sit down with Kerry Byrne. He's a former Boston Herald, turned New York Post, reporter who founded the South Shore Bar Pizza Social Club during the pandemic. The Facebook group started as a way to share takeout tips and support struggling mom-and-pop bars during Covid. It grew at lightning speed as a landing page and debate stage for its more than 30-thousand followers.
Byrne takes us through South Shore bar pizza's hazy history. The individual pan pizza style is believed to have started at a bar in Brockton after WWII, growing in popularity with the men and women working in the shipyards and factories along the South Shore trolley route. Dive bars became legends dishing out this very particular style of bar pizza with thin crust, sauce to the edge and primarily, if not exclusively cheddar cheese. Allegiances were pledged. Venus? Alumni? Town Spa? Lynwood? Where do less publicized spots like Hingham's own Liberty Grill fall in the mix?
We also sit down with Mark Gould and his teenage son Tyler. When the pandemic first shut down restaurants to indoor diners, the pair launched a quest to find and rate their top spots for bar pizza takeout. What began as covid field trips, strengthened a bond over pepperoni, mushrooms and bacon that has now been passed down generations. Tune in!