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Killer pizza

PIZZA UNDERGROUND: With Junior’s Pizza, Alex (from left) and Jennifer Aton cook up Atlanta’s anti-establishment pizza pop-up.
Photo credit: Chad Radford
Friday January 12, 2018 02:45 pm EST
Dropout, Gregorio Franco, and more play a Junior’s Pizza benefit Jan. 18

For 10 years, Alex Aton has dreamed of opening his own pizza shop. A former general manager of Fellini’s Pizza on Ponce, Aton and wife Jennifer, aka “Junior,” started out this summer by hosting low-key pop-up sales at Highland Row Antiques and the Shave Barbershop. Now, thanks to word of mouth, and friends in the local metal and hardcore scenes, a benefit show is the first step toward Junior’s Pizza opening a brick-and-mortar location.

On Thursday, Jan. 18, Lazer/Wulf, Dropout, MTN ISL, and Gregorio Franco play the Clermont Lounge to raise funds for Junior’s Pizza with an evening of whiplash headbanging in one of Atlanta’s most revered nightlife institutions.

With a minimalist approach, and such high-quality ingredients that toppings aren’t necessary (although available), Junior’s thin crust and Sicilian pies have become local favorites.

In June, Alex and Jennifer started hosting delivery pop-ups via Instagram, fielding orders; Alex made pizzas while Jennifer handled deliveries and organization.

Matt Karoglou, drummer for Atlanta hardcore outfit Dropout, was so inspired by Junior’s Pizza that he tapped Atlanta metal promoter Amos Rifkin of A. Rippin’ Production to book a fundraiser. “With all this support from Atlanta’s metal scene, and from strangers in general, we feel that we have quickly become an underground, anti-establishment pizza place, and that is probably what has drawn these musicians to us,” Alex says.

The fundraiser at the Clermont will also feature raffles for artwork and $75 and $200 gift certificates for work by Memorial Tattoo owner Phil Colvin. There will also be a raffle for work by Dropout singer Sten Moström of Liberty Tattoo, and more, all geared toward making the Atons’ pizza dreams come true. “We are both doing what we love, in whatever way we can,” he says, “regardless of day jobs, or insurmountable odds, we are having fun doing what we love.”