The newest pizzeria in Shelbyville opened this week following one brother’s desire to run a business with his family.
“A few months ago, actually, in February, I opened a Greek’s in Avon and I got my brothers and my family involved a little bit,” said co-owner Owen Graves, “and they were inspired to start their own Greek’s.”
Graves and his brothers had a “soft opening” for the restaurant this week, but they plan to schedule a grand opening.
“I believe me and my partners are treating it like a soft opening because we want to get with the Chamber of Commerce to have a grand opening,” he said.
Graves said his brother Tanner deals with talking to the city. In fact, the workload for the restaurant is split between the three Graves brothers and dad.
“Tanner does all the phone calls and takes care of the restaurant from his house. My other brother, Ben and I, have been doing all the food prep, making all the dough, making all the pizzas and running the kitchen,” he said. “My dad has been a delivery driver.”
Greek’s Pizzeria delivers within a four mile radius. Right now, Graves’ father is the only delivery driver. The restaurant has already hired a few people, but it is still hiring delivery drivers and kitchen workers.
“So far a lot of our workers are doing a good job,” Graves said. “They are learning the training and everything. We are still hiring, mainly delivery drivers, I really need delivery drivers. My dad is technically the only open delivery guy I have right now.”
Apply on the Greek’s pizzeria Facebook page, where he has posted an application. They are able to do interviews on most days.
The Graves family is from Greenwood, and when they decided to run a second Greek’s Pizzeria, the company’s corporate officials told them to find a location a little bit more south. Graves said they were looking in Greenfield, then stumbled upon Shelbyville, more specifically, the empty building at 20 S. Harrison Street.
“We came upon Shelbyville … it was a quick glance at the building,” he said. “We told our dad to stop the truck and we took a look at the building. It had tile on the floor and it had the red walls, so it looked pretty Italian already. It already looked like a pizzeria.”
The building had just been sold, so Graves had to work with the owner (now the restaurant’s landlord) to fix up the building.
“There was a lot of work we had to put in to fix up the building and bring it up to code,” he said. “The owner had a bunch of contractors come in and fix up the building, and then we had a bunch of contractors come in and do the lighting and the plumbing.”
Graves said he and his family had to bring their own cooking equipment in, such as the stoves. They even had to use a crane to lower a 60-pound dough mixer into the building’s basement.
Since the restaurant opened Tuesday, Graves said he’s seen a pretty good turnout of customers, especially when considering COVID-19 and the road construction now directly in front of their building.
“I think with all the stuff going on, it’s been a good turnout,” he said. “We are working with the community and being safe with what we do by wearing gloves and masks and making sure everything is all nice and clean.”
“I would think that pizza business is the best business to be in because we’re based on carry-outs and deliveries even though we have dine-in,” he added.
Greek’s Pizzeria’s hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
A large, build-your-own pizza costs $13.99, and a large specialty pizza costs $20.99. Graves said his store’s prices are a little bit lower than what the chain typically charges because the restaurant is new.
Graves said he enjoys working with his family and the process of opening this restaurant has brought them closer together.
“I think it may have brought us too close,” he said. “We do bicker here and there, but for the most part we’re getting along really well. … We all work way better with each other than we do with anyone else in our lives, and I think we all realized that and buckled down to work together and do this.”
And while Greek’s Pizzeria is a chain, Graves is looking to make it more local by getting involved in the community.
“The way we look at it, we would like to not only work with the Pizza King but with the restaurants on the [Public] Square too,” he said. “We’d like to plan events. I would very much enjoy collaborating with everyone. I just want to make Shelbyville an awesome place for food.”