Family-Friendly Sports Bar Plus Great Pizza
Outside, the jammed parking lot is the first clue that Ole Piper’s a dining hotspot. Inside, the animated voices of families celebrating a birthday, kids’ sports teams celebrating a win, or coworkers celebrating the end of another week strengthen the claim. With extra-wide booths to accommodate families, wheelchair-friendly tables, hearty portions, and budget-friendly prices Ole Piper has been satisfying diners since 1969.
Manager Travis Pioske knows Ole Piper’s history, and he knows his clientele comes for the comfort food at comfort prices. He’s adding back more from-scratch cooking, like Ole Piper’s original pizza sauce. And he doesn’t mess with perennial favorites: “People have raved and raved about our fried chicken.”
But Travis also tastes his way through food shows and rival restaurants, constantly getting ideas for satisfying the tastes and needs of today’s diners.
Ole Piper’s 18 kinds of pizza can be made with a delicious gluten-free crust. “On many occasions one person in a family has celiac disease, and they have to look for a place where that person can eat. Now we’re that place,” he says.
Ole Piper has undergone a lot of remodeling in the last four years, including a sheltered front entry so people can wait in comfort for a table. But Travis hastens to add, “We do a very good job of seating quickly.” Refreshers for servers show his commitment to “top-notch quality food with top-notch quality service.” “A gentleman in a wheelchair,” Travis said, “commented he’d always been treated well, seated quickly, with good service.”
Travis sets high goals for himself and Ole Piper, and customer feedback shows he’s meeting them. “This place is nostalgic for a lot of people. One guy asked me how long we’ve been here. I said, ‘Since 1969.’ He said, ‘So I ate here when I was 16.’ Thirty years later he’s married, has kids. He said the pizza is just as good now as it was then. I sat down and talked with him for 15, 20 minutes.”