Name of business: Willie’s Pizza & Wings
Type of business: Pizza parlor
Location: 2050 E. Canal Drive
Hours: Opening in April; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday
Contact information: 209-667-9455
Specialty: Unique menu
History of business:
After serving burgers, fries and ice cream to the Turlock community for the past seven years, the owners of Lulu’s Ice Cream Parlor and Treatery are expanding their restaurant expertise into the likes of pizza, wings and beer with the opening of a new business in the same shopping center.
Willie’s Pizza & Wings is expected to open next to Lulu’s next month, and although the restaurant will offer patrons a new menu, the same, friendly service that Lulu’s has become known for will still be present. In fact, it was owner Patricia Ashman’s love for her customers that inspired her to open a new restaurant all over again.
“The people we’ve met, the community and the customers here are all so fun, so a little bit of it was because we liked that. And now that I’ve learned so much, I can really do a better job since Lulu’s was my first restaurant,” Ashman said. “It’s going to be totally different from Lulu’s, but we’re going to have the same personal relationships with the customers and support the community.”
Manning the oven at Willie’s will be Brandon Wells, who formerly was a pizza chef in the Bay Area. He’s been talking to community members since he arrived in Turlock, figuring out what they like best on a pizza — linguica, he’s discovered — as well as adventurous combinations they’d like to try.
Distinct menu items like pickle pizza and coconut-crusted wings are sure to please the scores of high school students, Little League teams and neighborhood families that frequent the shopping center on East Canal Drive. It was the area’s unique demographic that made pizza and wings the perfect choice, Ashman said.
“We just thought about what would work well here and what the neighborhood needed, and with the high school, the baseball field and gymnastic in the area, I think it’s going to be a good fit,” she said.
Extra-spacious booths and tables at Willie’s will ensure teams and families alike have enough room to sit while eating, and televisions throughout the restaurant mean diners will never miss a game. The new pizza parlor will serve local beer from breweries like Dust Bowl and Blaker Brewing on tap, Ashman added.
“It’s going to be a team-friendly, family atmosphere with food that’s perfect for sharing,” she said.
Willie’s Pizza & Wings is currently hiring, and will hire 15 to 20 employees. Resumes can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and applicants are asked to include availability and hours per week preferred.