David Sheridan is an amateur pizza maker who uncovered the mother of all pizza related discoveries in his almost opened eatery: an ancient coal oven that was used to bake bread in Brooklyn's early years.
Sheridan took the oven as a sign that he was where he should be. The oven is now banned for use in New York due to environmental concerns. The oven is buried in the back of the basement of the building he is transforming into his eatery on Church Avenue which is still undergoing renovations.
Sheridan's oven is made from a long steel form that is encased in the rear foundation and extends three feet into the back yard area. The oven was used when an Italian restaurant was operating in the space in the early '50's. The oven was used to bake bread for the restaurant and was built by T. Dumbledton & Son's. The oven's builders passed away in 1920 and were well known in the community for building quality ovens.
The oven itself will not be able to be used anytime soon and the cost of renovations would be high. The oven would also need to be inspected by the city to ensure that it is not creating any hazardous fumes.
Coal ovens, like the one found in Sheridan's basement, are the original way that pizza was cooked. The process takes a bit longer than wood fired ovens which are their popular counterpart.
Sheridan claims to be sticking with the electric oven he ordered from Italy for his baking needs for now.