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Sprazzo keeps it simple

Basic menu, local design, championship chef

Posted: March 2, 2012 - 1:16am
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Haydar Suyun, owner of the successful restaurant Zephyr stands in his newest downtown Juneau restaurant, Sprazzo, with a menu featuring salads and pizza.   Michael Penn/Juneau Empire
Michael Penn/Juneau Empire
Haydar Suyun, owner of the successful restaurant Zephyr stands in his newest downtown Juneau restaurant, Sprazzo, with a menu featuring salads and pizza.

“Sprazzo” is Italian for glimmer or gleam. And new bright and friendly pizzeria lives up to its name as successful restaurateur, Haydar Suyun’s third international offering.

“We are going to keep it simple and delicious,” Suyun said, offering pizza, appetizers and salad. A beer and wine license is in the works, he said.

“Beer and wine should be plenty to go with pizza,” Suyun said.

Take out is available but the eatery will not deliver.

Executive Chef Beau Schooler will bring his championship pizza skills to the ovens of Sprazzo. The 26-year old pizza prodigy will manage the kitchens of Sprazzo and Zephyr. Schooler has worked with Suyun for two years and studied Italian cooking in Napoli.

Schooler was part of an international championship pizza team. After placing in the top 10 in a pizza skills competition in New York City, Schooler went on to the international finals in Italy, where he finished fifth.

The interior is a raw urban look, said Jeremy Bauer of Bauer Clifton Interiors. Bauer with design partner Jason Clifton used industrial design elements and repurposed materials. They drew upon local craftsmen and artists to mill the long wooden tables and graffiti the bathroom walls. Icy Strait Lumber and Figment Gallery and Gifts take respective credit for those design elements.

Bauer Clifton has been designing spaces in Juneau since 2005. The team’s other projects include the restaurants Canton House, Jaded Bar, Zen, Sandpiper Cafe and Zephyr.

Though the menu will remain familiar, restaurants are always a work in progress, Suyun said. He said he’s open to change if it’s the right thing to do.

“Like seasonal ingredients,” Suyun said. Summer may see more seafood and winter “more hearty dishes,” Suyun said. “The business will tell us where to go.”

Suyun has an odd background for owning a restaurant.

“I went to school for economics,” Suyun said, “marketing and statistics.”

Suyun said he got into the restaurant business when he helped a friend convert a storage unit into a restaurant shortly after he moved to Juneau in 2002. Now he owns Zephyr and Raven’s Café in Imperial Billiard & Bar along with Sprazzo.

“I like being interactive,” Suyun said about his line of work. “And to bring a little international flair as my contribution to Juneau,” he said.

The Franklin Street pizzeria opens in time for today’s First Friday celebrations. Just look for the rows and rows of flickering candles in Sprazzo’s entrance window across the street from the Baranof Hotel.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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