Zombie Pizza opens near Forest Hill

Zombie Pizza opened in Forest Hill in May. (Photos of Philippe De Mott)

Brains are out of fashion for zombies, but they’re all for pizza.

Zombie Pizza recently opened at 3400 Semmes Ave., a rented space it shares with owner and neighbor Floyd’s Tire & Auto.

Owned by Hamed Kalifa, the restaurant’s name was dreamed up by Kalifa’s younger son who, 16 at the time, had an affinity for the brain-eating dead.

Before the restaurant opened in May, Kalifa and her family spent three years preparing the space.

This isn’t his first venture into the restaurant world, having owned another pizzeria and later a cafe in Minnesota years before.

Kalifa, from Libya – which was once ruled by Italy – is working alongside an Italian supplier and intends to offer seafood-themed pizzas, among other offerings.

“We do it like we’re cooking at home,” said Kalifa, 66. “We believe in fresh ingredients; we don’t like canned food.

Kem Kwaieh, an employee of Zombie Pizza, shows off a pizza.

According to Kalifa’s son, Ahmed, the best seller is the Greek pizza, with the price ranging from $10.98 to $17.78, depending on the size. The Margherita — made with mozzarella, basil and sliced ​​tomatoes — is another popular choice, he said.

Zombie Pizza opened last month, but Kalifa said it was not an easy time to operate. Although he views pizza making as a simple practice, today’s high prices affect everything from transportation to the cost of supplies.

Still, Kalifa said, he enjoys it when it’s not crowded, caring more about “quality, not quantity”.

Zombie Pizza is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday hours may be extended until 2 a.m.

Kalifa said he was considering adding outdoor seating and potentially investing in an awning. For now, however, the most immediate goal is to create a website, as well as finalize the restaurant’s menu. He plans to add a smoothie maker and start making fresh juices.

The store is run by two of Kalifa’s children, whom he employs during their summer holidays, along with two others. He sees the business as a way to occupy his family.

“I don’t want my kids running around,” he said. Instead, working at Zombie Pizza will “teach them how to do business in the future.”