By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Mar 29, 2017 at 8:56 PM

Heads up, Hales Corners: A new pizza place is coming town – complete with a brick conveyor oven-- which, according to its owners, is a first for Wisconsin. 

A project started by co-owners Gary Plassmeyer and Andrew Baer, 9th Slice Pizza Co. is a new fast-casual pizza restaurant moving into a strip mall space at 5620 S. 108th St. The Highway 100 strip mall was formerly anchored by a K-Mart, but the area is getting revamped, with a new Festival Foods location serving as its new centerpiece store and 9th Slice moving into the nearby corner space as a both a carry-out and dine-in food option, with a menu of made-from-scratch pizzas planned.

Neither Plassmeyer or Baer are strangers to the food industry.  Both formerly owned Jake's Deli and Plassmeyer worked for Texas Roadhouse for 10 years, traveling around the country franchising locations. Together, they formulated the idea for 9th Slice a couple of years ago after discovering a fast-casual pizza chain called Pie Five Pizza while roving through Texas.

Plassmeyer wanted to combine that fast-casual immediacy with a dine-in component as well, so 9th Slice was born, featuring seating for 80 and a full-service bar as well as a "quick-serve" option that gets pizzas to customers in eight minutes or less. 

To help cook up and crank out those pizzas, 9th Slice will be utilizing a specialty oven, built and shipped from Italy. 

"It is a brick conveyor oven, so you get the taste of a wood-fired pizza but you get it in a minute  and a half or two minutes," Plassmeyer said. 

When 9th Slice opens, the handcrafted oven will be cooking up a menu of specialty house pizzas – with names such as The Ya Der Eh, The Spicy Ninja and The Farmers Haul – as well as plentiful options for customers to build their own pies, from personal sizes to 16-inches.

9th Slice will also feature other dine-in options, as well, including entrees – like lasagna, grilled tuna and roasted pork lion – appetizers, sides, soups and salads. Both dine-in and pizza menus, according to Plassmeyer, are expected to rotate every few months to keep the options fresh and new. 

And Plassmeyer is already looking toward the future for 9th Slice Pizza Co.

"The whole idea behind this concept is to be able to start popping more of them up," he noted.

Before then, however, 9th Slice in Hales Corners is eyeing up an opening date sometime this summer, potentially in July, according to Plassmeyer, but most likely in August. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.