Hey, if California Pizza Kitchen can have a restaurant in Kentucky and Kentucky Fried Chicken can have locations in California, then Eubank Pizza can open up shop on the border of Somerset and Burnside, right?
Whatever the case, you now don't have to drive all the way north on U.S. 27 to get a taste of Chicago-style pizza in Pulaski County.
Eubank Pizza Somerset is now open at the corner of South U.S. 27 and the Ky 914 bypass, in the space best known for housing Fatman's BBQ (and most recently Choo-Choo Q BBQ). While that's practically on the opposite end of the county from the original restaurant, northern Pulaskians need not fear: Eubank Pizza is still open for business in, you know, Eubank as well.
"The obvious reason (for opening a second location) is that we already had customers here we would hear from often: 'You're so far out,' or 'We've heard about you but we've never made it out because it's too far out,'" said owner Chris Robinson. "Being on the north end, we're able to serve Rockcastle County or Lincoln County and anybody north of Somerset. It made sense to go to the south end of town and get more in touch with customers in Burnside, Monticello, Wayne County and McCreary County."
Robinson, along with his wife April, took over the existing Eubank Pizza close to a couple years ago after moving to this area from their homeland in the Chicago area. Robinson and his family were part of the famed "Ohio Navy," the group of northerners who migrate every summer down to the warm waters of Lake Cumberland, as were his aunt and uncle from Ohio. They would vacation annually at a cabin in Monticello, and "fell in love with" the area during that time, ultimately deciding to go ahead and relocate to southern Kentucky.
The pizza business is nothing new to the Robinsons — Robinson's first job after he got his driver's license as a youth was at a pizzeria, "making dough, making the sauce, making deliveries." His wife managed a pizza place for 15 years, starting in that field when she was 14.
"My wife and I have never been very far away from pizza at any given time over 14 years of marriage," said Robinson earlier this year. "It's been a secondary and sometimes primary source of income for us for 30 years."
Eubank Pizza's reputation has grown over the period of its current ownership, with the philosophy of bringing the unique style of Chicago deep-dish pizza to an area where it isn't common.
"We were outgrowing (the current Eubank space)," said Robinson. "We always had the intention of surrounding the lake but never envisioned us being able to get into Somerset."
Before all of this success in Eubank was even a glint in their eye, however, the south space was on their radar.
"We actually saw this place eight or nine years ago before we even considered moving here," said Robinson. "We thought it would be a great place to have a restaurant."
When the space came available again recently, the Robinsons jumped on the opportunity.
"It's just God's hand working," said Robinson. "Everything we've done to this point in our lives, looking back, I see that was His work. He was shaping us and forming us to be able to do what we're doing here today."
Robinson secured the building on the south end almost three months ago, and opened October 30. "We really didn't tell anyone, we just opened the doors," said Robinson. "... Word of mouth has been tremendous for us."
The menu is just the same as at the original Eubank Pizza, so fans of that product can expect consistency and quality. Popular items include the deep-dish pizza, speciality pizzas (with options like "E.B.A. (Everything But Anchovies), the B.L.T. pizza, and Chicken Bacon Ranch), and the structurally impressive Double-Decker pizza — "It's literally a pizza on top of a pizza," said Robinson. "It's as good as you could imagine it could be."
The sandwiches, with favorites like Italian Beef, Strombolis, and Spicy Italian, and burgers are also popular. "Our burgers are some of the best you can get," said Robinson.
Of course, he feels that way about everything at Eubank Pizza Somerset.
"It's all good," he said. "I'd take it off the menu if it wasn't."
The building at 4546 South U.S. 27 has housed a number of restaurants over the years, but nothing quite stuck. Now that it's part of a growing local pizza empire for the Robinsons, the future is "pie-in-the-sky" high for Eubank Pizza Somerset.
"It's been an amazing response from the community," said Robinson. "The people are amazing, what they do for a small business, the way they're willing to go out of their way or give a small guy a chance to be successful. It's huge."