Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Image: Beer Bread

Beer Bread brings Detroit-style pizza to uptown Saint John

By Scott Pettigrew May 18, 2023 | 11:00 AM

Detroit-style pizza is on its way to Saint John via Beer Bread, a new uptown eatery opening this June at 7 Market Square.

The striking, Romanesque rounded façade of the Canada Permanent Building now bears the name of the soon-to-open restaurant, run by Rocky’s Sports Bar owners and operators Moe Arsenault and Chris Saulnier.

Arsenault says the building, a former bank, is going to be as amazing inside as outside.

“The space is being revitalised to a theme that should remind you of a vintage Detroit hotel lounge,” he says, harkening back to the heyday of Motor City opulence. “It’s a space that’s grand inside and it has a really show-stopping pieces in it that we’re just highlighting and bringing back to life.”

Arsenault promises that Beer Bread patrons will not only be wowed by the space, but that they’ll notice new details every time they come for a visit. He says the feel will be familiar for patrons but with updates, innovations, and “new toys” that will provide a one-stop entertaining afternoon or evening out, where people will want to hang out and celebrate.

Part of that innovation is bringing Detroit-style pizza to the Port City.

“The corners are the best,” Arsenault explains of the square-style pizza, inspired by the legendary Buddy’s pizza joint that’s still going strong in Detroit today.

A deep square pan harkening back to the automotive industrial roots of that city is what gives this pizza a delicious caramelization and crispiness at the edges of the fluffy, almost focaccia-style bread.

“When you cut into a beer Bread Pizza, you’re gonna get a very nice, crisp crunch on the exterior…. and the interior of the bread will stay very fluffy and light and airy.”

“The texture layering is unbelievable. And then the flavours just transpire throughout the whole thing.”

The bread itself is the key to this unique pizza, an old-world, southern-Italian style bread that takes over 24 hours to proof. At Buddy’s a Scillian waitress persuaded the pizzeria to try making their bread this way in the 1940s, creating a new tradition.

At Beer Bread, Arsenault says they have spent a year working with bakers and pizza makers to perfect their recipe, and are bringing in new specialized staff to make sure the magic gets transferred onto the plate.

Topped with traditional ingredients, the other unique feature of the Detroit-style pizza is that it’s built backwards.

“Detroit-style pizza is cheese first,” Arsenault explains. “Then your ingredients and then your sauce.”

Of course one of the other ‘main ingredients’ at Beer Bread is – the beer. Not brewers themselves, Arsenault and Sauliner decided to leave the brewing to the experts, hosting suds from Moosehead, Hampton Brewing Company,  Moncton’s Pumphouse and Fredericton’s Greystone, as well as Molson.

Being a part of the thriving Uptown scene isn’t anything new to Sauliner and Arsenault, but they are really excited with the trajectory of the area.

“I think the exciting thing is that there’s a bunch of people doing really great stuff for Saint John,” Arsenault says. “I think it’s really, really exciting to see the waterfront developed and can’t wait for that development to be finished. … we just want to be a part of creating the next kind of era for uptown Saint John, and allowing people different options to go to and enjoy some fellowship.”

Alex Graham is a reporter with Huddle, an Acadia Broadcasting content partner.


Leave a Reply