By Jeff Mays
HARLEM— It's a Harlem pizza joint with a taste of the wild west.
Bad Horse Pizza opens on Frederick Douglass Boulevard Friday night, the name being the brainwave of owner John Kandel's girlfriend, a Colorado native.
"People really liked the name and it seemed to stick," said Kandel, 45.
Kandel took the theme and ran with it, decorating the restaurant with reclaimed barn doors.
The logo is a horse rearing on its hind legs.
Kandel and his girlfriend did most of the work on what was once a Corcoran Real Estate office at 2222 Frederick Douglas Boulevard, at West 120th Street.
The abundance of new restaurants makes the area more attractive, said Kandel.
"Every time something new opens it creates more opportunity for the next person," he said.
Kandel was formerly a co-owner of Zanny's Cafe on the Upper West Side before selling his share of the business and moving to Arizona to try a career in aircraft maintenance.
When that didn't work out, he moved back to New York.
His thin crust pizza is made in a brick bottom oven. It includes San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella cheese imported from Italy and basil from Israel and Palestine. The restaurant also serves pasta and is applying for a beer and wine license.
Omar Guzman, 33, who serves as the chef and is also a business partner in the restaurant, said they wanted to provide a casual atmosphere and something relatively affordable for the area.
"We want to keep the neighborhood inside the neighborhood because who wants to go downtown to get a good slice of pizza?" said Guzman.