Photo & Text: Katie Rosenblad
— Just after the lunch rush at 1:28 p.m. you can smell the fresh and warm aroma of pizza and its cheese simmering in the oven as you pass outside on the corner of Broadway and Willamette. It calls to you. It drags you in.
The menu is the first thing to greet you as you walk through the entrance. Not only does it contain pizza, but there are calzones and salads with gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian options. The choice to buy pizza by the slice is apparent by its presentation in a large display case to the left of the cashier. The slices are large and thin with a variety of pizza topping combinations to choose from.
To the right of the cashier is where you pick up your food when they call your name. Attached to the spot is another bar. This is a real bar stocked with hundreds of alcohol bottles lined on the wall behind the counter. Above the black and glossy bar is a lit up retro looking sign. Nice large, red can, letter lights spelling out “Eat Pizza Everyday.” The light bulbs are yellow and white varying every other one. There’s probably 9 to 10 light bulbs in each letter with a few random ones out. The lights add charm and fit the retro look. The restaurant itself is clean and modern while maintaining small accents.
Classic rock plays on the stereo system alongside the hum of conversations all around with oven timers beeping and order numbers being called out for pick up. The tone is calm and relaxed. Laughter fills random pockets of the room.
The restaurant is mainly filled with groups of friends, but there is a family in the front corner by the window. A man with glasses and a black cowboy hat is at the table while talking to the man in his left about something on his phone. Across from the man in the cowboy hat sits three men and a little boy. The adults look to be enjoying their beer while the little boy takes small bites of pizza and plays with the strings of cheese falling off. The group looks like a family. Similar facial features, skin tone, hair color, and mannerisms.
Every table has a view. They’re all aligned by windows that range from the ceiling to a foot or two above the floor. In one corner there’s a bar with stools for individuals to sit alone and look out at the street, while behind them is the soda refill stations.
Signs are placed at each table asking customers to bus their own tables. Alongside the signs are tall parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper shakers. The tables are wood and the chairs are lightweight metal.
1:47 p.m. Another family – a father, mother, and daughter sit down. The mother flips through a small local newspaper while her little girl in her purple t-shirt sips on an orange soda. The dad waits at the bar to order his beverage.
The large drinks come in translucent, red, reusable plastic Coca-Cola cups. The beer comes in a tall pub glasses. And the child size cups come in white, translucent, reusable plastic cups.
The waitress gets the new family’s order wrong. She doesn’t bat an eye. She simply apologizes and corrects the mistake quickly. She’s calm, respectful, and caring. She works to make sure all customers are happy and taken care of properly.
The fridges behind the bar are loud. The fans create a large buzz that may remind some of being by the intake for their air conditioner in their backyards during the summer. It’s oddly relaxing.
A song that was in “American Hustle” is playing in the background. Classic rock. More and more customers are beginning to arrive. Each are in protective rain coats, mainly Gortex.
2:27 p.m. There’s outdoor seating which no one seems to choose today due to the ongoing rain. Only a few spaces are covered with umbrellas. The rest are left to the elements. All of the seats are wooden benches or tables. Even with the rain you can still catch a small whiff of the pizza aroma.