WHAT do you do when your favourite pizza joint is closing down?
If you're Deanna Zulumovski, you buy it.
Zulumovski and partner Ryan Polson took over Adam's Ribs and Pizza at Adamstown in January after saving the business from permanent closure when previous owner Mark Burrell announced he was shutting up shop after nine years.
The couple were regulars at Adam's.
Zulumovski, who has a long history in hospitality, was eager to open her own business after her job in pharmaceutical sales was made redundant in August.
"This opportunity came up and I thought 'I'm doing it!'," Zulumovski says.
"Had I not been made redundant, I wouldn't have been able to take over the business, so it feels like it was meant to be. It all kind of fell into place."
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Rebranded as Ribs and Pizza On Glebe, the revamped dining room opened earlier this month after undergoing a complete transformation to offer more space and a refreshed look.
"Our vision for it is to create a place where you can walk down, have something to eat, it's casual, and you don't have to get dressed up," Zulumovski says.
"It's a really relaxed, family-friendly environment."
The American diner theme of Adam's Ribs and Pizzas might be gone, but the menu lives on.
Zulumovski and Polson officially took over in January after working alongside Burrell during the handover, learning the ins and outs of the business, including all of his recipes. Everything from the rib sauce recipes to the pizza bases has been passed on.
The pizza menu includes classics such as supreme, vegetarian, pepperoni and margherita (available in regular and large for $15/$21), alongside the deluxe range, which includes 23 of Burrell's signature creations.
These include the L.R.B pizza with lychee, Roma tomato, blue cheese, capers and baby spinach, as well as the popular hot chip pizza with garlic aioli, roast chicken, potato fries, bacon and mozzarella with a swirl of tomato sauce and shallots.
"These pizzas do have a following," she says.
"We are the only place in Newcastle that do a hot chip pizza, so that is very popular. Mark actually made the lychee pizza for a competition in Las Vegas, so we are carrying on the legacy of that pizza."
Burrell's take on Hawaiian pizza is still on the menu and is perhaps even more controversial than the original, with a combination of tomato sauce, ham, pineapple, bacon, banana and mozzarella.
Slow-cooked ribs (pork, beef or lamb) are on the menu, including the 1kg Zeus rack ($50), which is served with your choice of house-made rub and sauce (Zulumovski recommends Maker's Mark Bourbon Hickory sauce as her favourite).
There are plenty of sides on the menu, including mac'n'cheese, corn on the cob, homemade coleslaw and buffalo chicken wings.
If you love potatoes, there's no less than 12 options on the menu, including crispy potato skins, French fries, waffle fries, chilli fries, sweet potato wedges and loaded fries topped with everything from pulled pork to cheese sauce.
Smoked brisket BBQ burnt ends are a new addition and she has tweaked the boscaiola sauce on the pasta menu, but the rest remains unchanged.
The focus remains of using fresh ingredients and preparing as much of it in-house as possible.
"We do everything from scratch, including the majority of our pizza toppings," Zulumovski says.
"All of our chicken is poached in-house, the pizza bases are made fresh and all of the sauces are done from scratch as well.
"There is a lot of prep work, but it is so worth it because you can taste the difference when it's done that way."
Ribs and Pizza On Glebe, 548 Glebe Road, Adamstown. Open from 4pm Wed-Sun. Order online, dine-in or delivery available. ribsandpizza.com.au
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