From pastries to pizza, The Nook in Fairhaven is leveling up its menu, and it's all thanks to a cozy Christmas party with small-town vibes.

The quaint gourmet coffee shop is known to be innovative with beverages and baked goods. Now, it's introducing pizza to the SouthCoast. Not just any kind of pizza; we're talking about traditional and simple bar-style pizza.

The choices: cheese, pepperoni and linguica.

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"It got me thinking more about what we can do to bring more small-town vibes back to Fairhaven," said Paul Menard, who owns the business with wife Katie. "Everything we grew up loving is kind of gone or changed, and I want to bring something back in terms of a fun and social time."

The idea started with The Nook hosting RPG Dungeons & Dragons on Sunday. The business needed something tasty to serve.

That's when nostalgic memories of Fairhaven's former Barbero's Pizza came to mind. Just like that, pizza at The Nook was born. As a bonus, the woman who made pizza at Barbero's for over a decade visited The Nook and gave them the stamp of approval.

"Our pizza is traditional bar pie," Menard said. "It comes 'laced,' which is when you push the cheese and sauce up to the edge and it creates that crispy cheese crust. Not overly seasoned, just a simple and easy pizza consisting of homemade dough, simple sauce, mozzarella and white cheddar cheese baked in seasoned pans."

The Menards decided to affectionately call the new addition "1980 Pie" as an ode to the '80s-style pizza they enjoyed as kids. For the pepperoni, they even sourced the old-school little grease cups that curl up and get crispy on the edges as a tribute to the pizza they remember.

The Nook is the latest SouthCoast hot spot to offer bar pizza. The popular pizza also recently debuted at Dipper Cafe and Pour Farm Tavern & Grille in New Bedford, among other places. Even Taunton High School's student-run restaurant is getting in on the action.

Every Sunday in January, from 7 to 10 p.m., The Nook will host game night, an opportunity for folks to get together, relive simpler days and make new memories.

"We are slowly trying to make this town remember how fun it once was," The Menards concluded, "We love this town and these people. The smile of our customers - it's all we ever wanted."

The Best of South Shore Bar Pizza

There's pizza, and then there's South Shore Bar Pizza. Birthed in Brockton (and to this writer, perfected in Randolph – Lynwood Café is the true G.O.A.T.), it must meet certain qualifications to be considered "SSBP," which include: it's a 10-inch pie; it has a thin, cracker-like crust with minimal "flop;" the cheese is a blend that features more cheddar than mozzarella; and bonus points if you take it home between two carboard-type plates wrapped in flat brown paper bag. They also usually come with "laced" or "burnt" edges (terminology depends on where you are ordering), which is when the sauce and cheese are extended all the way to the edge of the pan, creating a crispy, flavorful coating to the crust. We reached out to the hugely popular South Shore Bar Pizza Social Club Facebook group to ask the experts to share the best of the best (in no particular order).

Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg

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