- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
Jan. 3, 2019
A popular wood-fired pizza truck is adding a downtown restaurant.
Papa Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza is coming to the Jones421 marketplace on North Phillips Avenue.
“Two months ago, we would have said it’s not in our plan,” said Lisa Esser, who owns the business with her husband, Steve Blumke. The couple has been operating the food truck since 2016.
“We’re pretty excited. It all just kind of fell into place.”
The building’s co-developer, Sheila Hazard, asked the couple to bring a wood-fired pizza restaurant to the marketplace when it was opening a year ago and has called a couple of times since then, Esser said. Each time, the couple said no. But lunch in the building led to a change of heart.
“We actually went down there a little over a month ago to have lunch at Swamp Daddy’s Cajun Kitchen,” Esser said. The couple realized during the meal that they were ready for the marketplace. “I called Sheila that day and said, ‘We were wondering if you still had room?’ She just started screaming in the phone.”
Once the lease is signed, the marketplace will be full with tenants. Three condominiums remain for purchase in the floors above, Hazard said.
Esser and Blumke wanted to replicate the home-built oven that’s on their truck, but building codes won’t allow that. They found a wood-fired oven in Italy, and Hazard is working now to make sure the build-out plans meet city regulations.
They hope to open Papa Woody’s in April or May.
“We want to be open before summer hits,” Esser said. “We also want to be open before the amphitheater.” The Levitt Shell is under construction across the street and will open this summer for outdoor concerts.
The restaurant will have seating at a wooden bar where customers can watch while their pizzas are made and baked, and there might be room for a couple of tables, Esser said. Otherwise, diners will be able to eat in the marketplace’s indoor and outdoor seating areas.
The food truck will continue to operate but probably won’t be at random spots for lunch in the summer, Esser said. They’ll still do business lunches, events and catering for parties.
A popular wood-fired pizza truck is adding a restaurant in downtown Sioux Falls.