Awaiting The Return of David's Pizza | News
Spokane has a burning desire for pizza and it's calling on the David's Pizza firetruck to quench that fire.
“Not a day that doesn't go by when I'm not answering questions about David's Pizza,” said Mark Starr sitting at his south hill restaurant Famous Ed's.
Starr opened David's Pizza more than 15 years ago in an old service station at the corner of Hamilton Street and Boone Avenue. It had a comfortable feeling along with service and food that kept people coming back.
“We were the barber shop, where everyone came to talk,” said Starr. “I didn't realize that until after we left the neighborhood.”
A year and a half ago, the pizza joint shutdown to make way for progress. The old building was torn down and a new strip mall took its place. But the tempting smells of pizza and calzones wafting through the air would not return to the neighborhood when the new building was complete. Starr chose to move his restaurant to a different location.
“We assumed when we shut down, it wouldn't be for more than four months,” said Starr.
The new location would be in an old Wonder Bread building at the corner of Post Street and Mallon Avenue, just across the street from the Spokane Arena. That's when the plans took an unexpected turn. The city of Spokane changed its codes and required fully engineered plans for the remodeling of the building.
The new requirements added thousands of dollars to the cost of the move. They also slowed the project immensely, to say the least.
“I had to furlough 15 employees when we closed,” said Starr.
Starr is itching to get the renovations underway and has some fantastic plans.
“It's going to have all new glass, roof, everything is going to be new,”said Starr.
The new David's Pizza will have an open feel inside, starting with a 10 foot by 8 foot entry door. Customers will be greeted by an 18 foot ceiling and a Canadian Pacific Railway locomotive.
“I bought a C-P Railway locomotive body and it's going to be in the kitchen. The ovens will be in the side of it,” said Starr. “I'm not going to repaint it so it will have the black and white stripes on the front.”
The restaurant will have twice the cooking capacity of the old building with seating for 100 people. There will also be a second floor eating area above the kitchen. And it will have something people will recognize from a favorite downtown restaurant that's been torn down.
“I bought the old Cyrus O'Leary's bar,” said Starr. “So we'll recreate that as well.”
David's Pizza will also feature a patio with views of the Spokane County Courthouse tower.
“I think patios are a big deal in Spokane because we're stuck inside for so long each winter,” said Starr. “I'm pretty pumped up to get this thing going.”
Starr has kept the David's Pizza name on the tip of Spokane's tongue by being involved with many community events. The pizza is a favorite of the Bloomsday corporate cup runners and a mainstay at Hoopfest. It's also available at Famous Ed's, a restaurant that is taking off just like David's Pizza did so many years ago.
“Winter months are usually slow, but it hasn't been that way,” said Starr. “Every year we continue to grow.”
Starr says the success of his restaurants comes as a results of creating a place where people are
comfortable, great food is served and there's always something a little extra.
“We get great sunsets coming through those windows,” said Starr pointing at the western windows of Famous Ed's.
He's hoping construction on David's Pizza will begin in the next few weeks but there are still some issues that need to be ironed out. Once the building starts, the aroma of fresh baked pizzas will return to the air 100 days later.