Kenton Ridge alums to open Villa Pizzeria

The restaurant will serve fresh, locally-sourced food.

Credit: Jessica Orozco

Credit: Jessica Orozco

A new locally-owned pizza restaurant will soon open its doors in northern Springfield.

The Villa Pizzeria, at 1045 Villa Road, will begin serving carryout pizza, wings, appetizers and subs within the next few weeks. Kenton Ridge High School alumni and husband-and-wife team Ashley and Mike Estep said they are excited to serve their community with good food.

“Our ultimate goal is to serve and support our community,” Mike Estep said. “We’re not trying to recreate the wheel, we’re not trying to recreate what pizza is and all that; we’re trying to bring a good, clean product to our community.”

All ingredients will be fresh and from local vendors, Mike Estep said. The price range will be comparable to other local restaurants and hours will be available on the restaurant’s social media pages, including Facebook and Instagram.

Mike Estep said he is looking forward to the restaurant’s upcoming fresh hamburger that is made up of a mixture of hand-ground high-quality meats.

“We want to serve what we like, and we think that we’re blessed with good taste buds,” Mike Estep said.

Ashley Estep said she is excited at the prospect of serving food at local sporting and other events.

The restaurant has been a labor of love, coming from the husband-and-wife team wanting to enter a new business venture that would benefit their community.

Credit: Jessica Orozco

Credit: Jessica Orozco

The family bought some pizza ovens before knowing completely what they were going to do with them, and the couple got to talking with the delivery person, who knows a lot about restaurants, before deciding on the restaurant Mike Estep said.

“He was a blessing in disguise,” he said.

The building used to house a Domino’s restaurant, which the owners thought would make opening their own pizzeria easier, but the building was stripped “down to the studs, basically,” Ashley Estep said. This did help the couple figure out the layout of the restaurant, though.

Local artist Casey Harrod painted two murals on the building. One of the murals, wings made of pizza with a crown above them, serves as a social media check-in point, and customers can tag their location on Instagram and Snapchat, Ashley Estep said.

Credit: Jessica Orozco

Credit: Jessica Orozco

While the restaurant will start with classic pizzeria foods, Ashley Estep said she is excited to be creative with monthly pizzas and other unique dishes.

A dining room for the restaurant is currently in the works, and once The Villa Pizzeria has its liquor license, customers will be able to have a slice of pizza with a cold beer, Mike Estep said. At some point, they also hope to build outdoor patio seating.

The community has expressed excitement for the new restaurant which Ashley Estep said is both encouraging and nerve-wracking. She said with work taking longer than expected, people often drive by the building to inquire about its status.

“The community wants it, [and] we do too,” Mike Estep said.

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