Monday, June 13, 2005

A Plug

Nobody pays me for advertising. (But donations are always welcome). So, if I make a plug for any kind its because I really support the business.

When I returned to Vegas in 2003 after an absence to work to pay the mortgage, there was quite a few new things in my neighborhood, including Trails Village with its anchor grocery store, Vons. Vons was much closer than Smith's which is 1.6 miles away. Not far if I had a car, but I walked everywhere.

So everything was new to me and at first, and I enjoyed checking out the place.

There was never a pizza joint worth its mozzerella, in all the years I first lived here. Villa pizza wasn't bad, but it was too far for delivery and I can't stand the national chains. I usually preferred a frozen grocery pizza to the chains. When I first moved here, all the people who originated from Boston, New York or Chicago all had the same lament - the pizza here sucks.

So I couldn't wait for East Coast Pizza to open, starting in November 2003. Because of all the beaurcratic delays, it didn't open until January, 2004.

It was started by a group of investors from Revere (Severe), Mass. Joe and Claudia, who set the place up as a Boston pizzeria, that looked earily like the Revere Dog Track, with pictures on the wall of the Blizzard of '78, Fenway Park, the Garden, the Pope in Boston, etc. The pizza was and is delicious, primarily, I am told, because the dough comes from the New England Dough Company.

But Joe and Claudia were just investors who set up businesses and sell them to other owners. At first, I couldn't figure out who were the owners were, One guy, Chris, looked the part of an Italian pizzeria owner, and the other guy Mitch, looked like just a worker there. It turned out that both Chris and Mitch were partners, which was later dissolved.

As I mentioned in one of my earliest posts, businesses have had a tough time surviving in my 'well-to-do' neighborhood. But Back East Pizza is the rare success story. And I quickly became a 'regular'.

I always think it is good business to 'reward' your loyal customers with an occasional freebie and I can't remember exactly when mine began. After Chris was gone, Mitch's new partner was Mike, a guy from New Jersey who wears a New York Yankee (gad!) baseball cape backwards.

So I don't know where I began to get free food began, but it is always a nice feeling to get 'comped' on occasion.

I don't know exactly when Mitch and I became 'Friends' as opposed to 'friends' but he knew I liked to visit Lake Tahoe and he began bugging me to go up there with him. We went awhile back and we both had a great time. We went awhile back when it was pleasant down near the casinos but there was still snow on the ground in the shade. He doesn't gamble much but likes to have a few beers, but he said he had one of the most relaxing vacations he's ever had. Of course, he was on the phone alot as he managed his business remotely.

I think one of my problems in finding employment is due in large part to age discrimination and Mitch is about 15 years younger than me, so I asked him why he'd want to be friends with an 'old' guy. He looked at me as if it was the stupidest question he'd ever been asked. Of course, I dont 'feel' old at all, just listen to some of the stuff I listen to on my Ipod. Granted, a lot of it is 'oldies' which belies my age, but I am certainly not ready for a nursing home.

We had a great view of the Lake on the top floor of the Horizon. The kind of view that's on the Horizon's website. I procured the fare and he paid for my flight and I took care of the room.

We went across the street to Bill's Bar and they had a great jukebox. Mitch went there while I went to the movies and then I went back with after that. He told me about the music they played there, including Iron Butterfly's "In A Gadda Da Vida" (long version) which I wish I had on the Ipod, but Itunes doesn't have the long version. They have an Internet jukebox, so if you can't find your song, you can search the net for it. Must be an MP3 player jukebox.

As I get ready to leave Vegas, I only had two pieces of furniture that I had an emotional attachment to (I also have some of my mother's furniture) my cherry wood desk and my cherry wood entertainment center. I sold the entertainment center to Don, but was resigned to giving my computer desk to charity.

Mitch told me that his brother might be interested in the desk, but Randy is way to tall for it. His knees touch the underneath of the desk.

But when I was in there the other day Mitch said to me: "Tell you what - I'll pay you a few bucks for it, store it for you and when you get on your feet, I'll send it to you whereever you are". Plus, he'll feed me until I leave. If I had a choice between being friends with Donald Trump or Mitch, I'll take Mitch - he feeds me and you can't eat golden doorknobs.

When I first moved here, my HOA tried to get people together by forming clubs, like Summerlin Mothers in Prayer or a Fishing Club. (Where do you fish in the desert?), but it is people that make a neighborhood and it can't be molded.

And its not just Mitch - all of the crew at East Coast Pizza are the greatest and I'll miss them all. Of course, I have friends back East which I miss and will be glad to see again, but it sucks to leave here. This is where I belong.

So, if you are in the Northwest part of Las Vegas, about 40 minutes from the Strip, stop by East Coast Pizza, 1910 Village Center Circle in the Vons complex, near the Trails Park and tell them Pig sent you. You get great service and you'll have the best pizza in town. Mitch and his crew have kicked up pizza a notch in this town - BAM!

This is not a paid advertisement - I'm serious about how good the pizza is and the service is the best. In an area where I've seen many small business close, its great to see someone achieving success. All this with two other chain pizza joints within walking distance, maybe 3.

Too bad I couldn't wait him out. When we were coming back from Tahoe and going through Carson City, Mitch was eyeing the place for another location for a second store. He wanted me to run it and I would have learned alot about pizza, but time wasn't on my side. But I got the consolation prize - I made a lot of great friends, so in the end, it was all worth it.


East Coast Pizza
1910 Village Center Circle (in Summerlin)
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89134 (across from Vons)

Don't worry, these Pizza Guys Deliver.


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