David Sheridan and Kim McAdam opened Wheated Pizza on the northern verge of Ditmas Park in 2013. The cozy spot right on Church Avenue was unique in several ways, one of which was that it eschewed the wood-burning oven in favor of an electric one. While the inspiration for its pizzas was the classic thin-crust Neapolitan pie, the names and toppings were customized to reflect Brooklyn terroir, with all sorts of crazy ingredients. In particular, I found the Brighton Beach pizza, loaded with garlic, black pepper, and bacon, irresistible.
But the place wasn’t named after the main ingredient of its pizza crusts. Rather, “wheated” refers to a style of making bourbon whiskey, in which wheat rather than corn predominates. Wheated Pizza specialized in these whiskeys, with a prodigious by-the-shot list, but also in cocktails. I say “specialized” in the past tense, because the pizzeria, which had developed quite a following, was forced to shut down because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, Sheridan announced on the website: “I am sorry to say Wheated is currently closed and it is uncertain when we will be re-open….Thank you to all the customers who want to support us. It means a lot.” All 20 employees were laid off. Now, to raise money for former employees and to keep the business afloat so that it may recover, the whiskey collection is being sold off, in addition to the initiation, according to the website, of a GoFundMe campaign.
First up on the sales floor are the private bottlings unique to the restaurant, seven varieties. The prices are promised to be “based on NYC retail prices you could expect to see on the shelves. Keep in mind all of these are unique to Wheated.”
The bottles are 750 ml, numbering 23 in all, priced from $28 to $100. According to spirits journalist Tammie Teclemariam, “The prices are totally fair, and possibly better than what you’d find retail for comparable items. It makes sense that they’d allocate the Four Roses this way because people like to collect the different recipes (OESV is a code for the mash and yeast used), and it’s cask strength, which is also highly desirable. The Elijah Craig 9 year looks like a great deal.”
To find out how to purchase these bottles, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deliveries are planned for Tuesdays and Fridays. Expect to buy a bowl of soup and bag of chips at the same time, to fulfill the requirements of the new regulation.
[This post has been updated to reflect number of employees laid off, new email address for ordering whiskey, and delivery days.]
[This post has been further updated to show the bowl of soup that must also be purchased, and a link to the GoFundMe campaign for the restaurant’s employees.]