Luke Davis couldn’t stay away from pizza for very long.
Davis ran his one-man carryout pizza shop off of the Crosstown for three years. He announced in April he’d be closing Luke’s, which required working long hours and usually seven days a week. Davis and his wife, Brittany, said they wanted to be able to spend more time as a family, which includes their young daughter they call their “pizza baby.”
"Our schedule just doesn't allow us enough time together, so we're making a change,” the Davises wrote at the time.
Following the final “hectic and heartwarming” days at Luke’s, Davis began searching around for a new gig, ideally one that involved less all-consuming hours.
“I didn’t really have a plan in place,” he said. “I took three weeks off and talked to a bunch of people I knew. I was looking for a family schedule. That was the main thing I was talking to people about."
That included the owners of Baker & Brewer, the bakery/pizzeria/brewery at 94 Stuart St. Prior to opening his own shop, Davis worked at EVO Pizzeria, a partner in Baker & Brewer.
"I reached out to them and they said, 'We need people at Baker & Brewer,' " Davis said.
He signed on in early June as the restaurant's morning and midday sous chef, overseeing lunch service and prepping for dinner.
Davis, who used an electric oven at his shop, is transitioning to cooking with a wood-fired oven and says Baker & Brewer is able to source more local ingredients than he was on his own.
"I'm hoping to just continue what they started years ago," he said. "They started as a trailer at the farmers market and now they're here."
He is also getting used to having help in the kitchen.
“It’s nice to be part of a great team,” Davis said. “It’s a nice change of pace. When it was just me at Luke’s, everything fell on my shoulders.”
Baker & Brewer serves 12-inch thin-crust pizzas, salads, sandwiches and calzones. It also serves baked goods from Craft Bakery and craft beer from Holy City Brewing, which operates a small on-site brewing system.
In the weeks since he started, Davis said he thinks he made the right decision.
“Because we already have extra family time,” he said. “No regrets.”
As for the return of Luke's, he isn't counting that out.
“I enjoyed being my own boss,” he said. “I think Luke’s could come back, in some reworked version."