OTTAWA — It had been a downtown institution for almost 30 years, but it was time for The Pizzeria to move.
Two weeks ago, the restaurant moved from its 211 E. Main St. location to 1085 N. Perry St. on state Route 65, close to Ottawa-Glandorf High School.
“We love the location. We love the school and being on state Route 65,” said Brent Shafer, who owns The Pizzeria with his brother, Curt. “I thought we were on a busy street downtown, but after being out here for two weeks, there’s so much more traffic out there.”
Shafer had been happy to be downtown, but after repeated flooding in Ottawa’s downtown, finding a new location was very appealing. The old location had a red line painted on the wall 18 inches above the floor, indicating the water level in the restaurant during the 2007 flood.
“I love it downtown,” he said. “I love my neighbors, but the tipping point for this was that the new location is on higher ground. So with the location, the school and flooding, it just all worked together.”
The new space offers a drive-up window, a feature not available at any of The Pizzeria’s other five area locations in Putnam County. The new restaurant holds 25 people, about the same as the downtown restaurant. Shafer has worked to attract the high school crowd with a new television, along with free Wi-Fi access.
Despite several other businesses failing at that location, Shafer has been pleased with the early results.
“Things are going well,” he said. “We’re still settling in, but we’ve been very busy. People have been curious to see what’s going on, but the only thing that’s changed is the location. We’ve been very blessed.”