Steve’s thriving during lunch

Published 9:55 am Friday, June 5, 2009

Steve Davis has been doing lunch for more than a week.

Davis isn’t a work no-show—he’s the owner of Steve’s Pizza, which has been open and busy during the lunch-hour since May 26.

“It’s been going good,” Davis said. “I didn’t want to get busy all at once, but it has been.”

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The 31-year-old pizza joint, which has been in its new Main Street location since March, opened for lunch because of clamoring customers, Davis said.

The extra hours were also made possible by an expanded staff.

Davis said in his old location at 215 Second Ave. NE he didn’t have enough workers for the lunch hour, because he didn’t want people who had worked past midnight the night before to come in the next morning.

Now, Davis said, he has a lunch crew to cater to hungry customers.

That was good news to Joel Luker, who went to Steve’s Thursday afternoon with two Salvation Army co-workers for lunch.

Luker called himself a “frequent visitor,” but said he had never been for lunch before. The group ordered up the “Mamma Mia,” a house special featuring sausage and sauerkraut.

Troy Williams, who also chowed on a Mamma Mia Thursday, said he was excited to see Steve’s open earlier.

“I’ve been waiting forever for them to open for lunch,” said Williams, a Hormel employee who said he works second shift and couldn’t stop at Steve’s as often when they only did dinner.

With a few other dining options down the block, is Davis worried about competing for the lunch crowd?

“I don’t see it as competition,” he said. “I see it as a compliment.”

To Davis, restaurant variety is good for downtown.

“It perhaps helps everyone,” he said of his new hours.

Josh Diaz, owner of nearby Piggy Blues BBQ, agreed.

“I think it’s going to enhance downtown dining,” he said. “More variety, the better.”

Davis, who has been in the pizza business since he was 12 and is going on 50 years, is happy to see Steve’s thrive. And with lunch on the menu, could breakfast be next?

“I was thinking about that,” he said jokingly. “I wanted to work 24 hours.”