Romeo’s Pizza opens on South Bend’s northeast side
SOUTH BEND, Ind.—The secret is in the sauce according to Romeo’s Pizza owner Mike Kugel.
The Berrien Springs native himself orders a bacon, chicken and ranch pizza when he can, but also loves the Italiano or Margarita pizza options.
“I’m a pizza snob,” Kugel said.
That pizza-loving attitude is what launched a months-long project of opening up Indiana’s first Romeo’s Pizza location at 54594 N. Ironwood Road.
“We offer pizza, obviously, and we offer subs, strombolis, chicken wings,” Kugel said. There are gluten free pizza options as well as a spin on deep-dish.
Kugel said it was a simple process to open up shop and he thinks the recent launch of their soft-opening period has gone well.
One of the driving themes of Kugel’s new pizza place has to do with community. He wants people to sign off on the shop. Literally.
“I painted the counter tops black and have permanent markers so that when everyone in the community comes in, they can sign the counter tops with their name,” Kugel said. “With kids, it gives something for them to do if they’re waiting and it’s just to make people feel more a part of their purchase and make them feel a part of what we’re doing here.”
From wishes of good luck to a first customer’s signature, the counter tops are beginning to fill with community members’ names.
But that’s not all Kugel plans on doing to make his pizza shop a part of the city.
“That pizza, the dough, that we would end up throwing away, we’ll make those into pizzas and we will donate them to the Center for the Homeless,” Kugel said, adding that he’s in the early stages of creating that partnership, among others.
South Bend was the right choice for Kugel, who thinks the city’s restaurant and retail landscape is on an upward swing.
“It’s a growing community. It’s a community that continues to drive north and be successful and I think what Romeo’s has to offer is part of that, it’s part of the community, not only the award winning pizza side of it but the people side of it,” Kugel said.
Romeo’s Pizza is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.