What do you do when you hold the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of pizza memorabilia? You put it in a museum of course! Philadelphia is now home to the world's first pizza museum.
Pizza enthusiast, Bryan Dwyer loves pizza. Not only does he have the record for the world's largest pizza memorabilia collection, he even has a tattoo of himself eating pizza on his back. Now, he's opened the Pizza Brain, the nation's first pizza museum.
Along with three partners, Dwyer opened the Kensington, Philly museum which is a pizza restaurant as well as an art gallery of pizza-related photos, art, records, videos and toys.
"We thought it was a funny idea, and we started doing some research," Dwyer told the Associated Press. "And when we discovered that nowhere on earth was there a physical place, a monument built to pizza, we said, 'This is going to be huge.'"
So far, Dwyer is right. Hundreds of people showed up for the grand opening of Pizza Brain on Sept. 7.
The museum has things that you wouldn't even imagine when it comes to pizza. One wall is full of pizza photos and magazine covers. Another wall is covered in vinyl records related to pizza such as the "Mystic Pizza' soundtrack and a Domino's holiday record.
Kids may enjoy looking through the display cases of toys such as pizza Barbie, Homer Simpson, Spider-man, the Tasmanian Devil, the Pillsbury Doughboy and more. The museum even features some rare collectible like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles "Pizza Drop" arcade game and a Star Trek Enterprise pizza cutter.
A pizza museum wouldn't be complete without actual pizza. Guests can indulge in some artisan pizzas with classic toppings or ones that are a little more unusual such as pulled pork, meatloaf, beef brisket and gourmet cheeses.
Pick up a pie and watch some TV shows that feature pizza. The museum is right next to Little Baby's Ice cream, so you can pick up some desert if you have room after diving into a pizza delicacy.
Dwyer first featured his pizza memorabilia collection in an art exhibit called "Give Pizza Chance." He received positive feedback from the exhibit, so he continued to expand his collection. He claimed the Guinness World Record in Jul 2011 with 561 items.
Dwyer wanted to make a more permanent display for his pizza collection so he quit his job at Trader Joes, found some business partners, and was able to raise $16,500 through funding website Kickstarter. Pizza Brain got a large responsive from pizza fans on social media.
Dwyer believes that his museum is a good place for people to come together, enjoy pizza and reminisce about their own stories about pizza. After all, who doesn't love pizza?
"When it comes to pizza in America, everyone has this story that they are bringing to the table," Dwyer told the New York Times. "All we are doing is creating a place where you can revisit that story."
Dwyer plans to collect even more memorabilia and rotate items that are displayed so that there is always something new to see at Pizza Brain.