‘Weird’ pizza restaurant to open in Detroit where Ready Player One once was

Pizza Cat opening location in Detroit’s Greektown on Monday, July 18

Photo by Chad Montano on Unsplash. Image has been cropped from original. (Unsplash)

DETROIT – A new, “weird” pizza restaurant is slated to open Monday in the Detroit space once occupied by the below-ground Ready Player One, the city’s first real arcade bar.

Pizza Cat, a Toledo, Ohio-based restaurant that’s beginning to expand, will open a location in Detroit’s Greektown neighborhood on Monday, July 18. The company prides itself on “keeping pizza weird,” emphasizing their unique “American style” pizza with endless topping combinations -- and they literally mean “endless.” The company says there are “over 1,962,273 pizza combinations possible.”

Pizza Cat’s menu will include vegetarian, gluten free, keto and vegan options. In addition to pizza, the restaurant will also serve up chicken and steamed bagel sandwiches. You can check out their Detroit menu right here.

Restaurant co-owner Matt Wojtowicz was reportedly inspired by the Pizza Tiger, Thomas Monaghan, who founded Domino’s Pizza and owned the Detroit Tigers for some time in the 1980s and ‘90s. The first Pizza Cat, which opened in Toledo in 2017, was named as a nod to Monaghan, according to the company’s website.

“In 2017 our founder said, why wait for someone else to embrace a wonderfully wacky diverse pizza menu? Why not take the leap and embrace it myself? That’s exactly what we did. Because weird is an asset,” the Pizza Cat website reads. “Your ‘weird’ is my local. My weird is your Limited Time Offer. Our collective weird can now be enjoyed by all.”

Beginning Monday, the Detroit location, officially titled Pizza Cat Max, will operate as a full-service, sit-down restaurant and bar at 407 East Fort Street. The new restaurant is replacing Ready Player One -- a bar, restaurant and arcade that opened in the low-level space in 2017. The arcade bar closed due to the pandemic and reopened briefly, but then closed permanently earlier this year.

According to other reports, the Pizza Cat owners say they will still have some video games available at the Detroit spot in homage to Ready Player One.

The company will also be opening a new location in Jacksonville, Florida, though a specific date has not yet been announced.

Learn more about Pizza Cat on their website here.

Other news: Explore Detroit’s new Petty Cash restaurant in this Tasty Tuesday feature

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.