A full circle
Tue, 09/05/2023 - 3:59pm admin
Amanda Mendez, Publisher
First things first – the ranch dressing is staying the same. Under new ownership since August 25, Pizza Americana was closed for a single weekend before firing up the ovens again for the pizza lovers of Willow Springs.
Andy and Lori (Foster) Logan purchased the iconic Main Street spot from Sam and Gabby Coursen as a turn-key operation. There are very few changes that would alert diners to the change. The Logan family has retained all the same staff members. The salad bar and the pizza recipes are unchanged. Perhaps most importantly to Pizza Americana devotees, the house-made ranch dressing is also the same.
The biggest change to the menu is the ice cream. The restaurant no longer carries Blue Bell. The new brand is a high fructose corn syrup free recipe from Chef’s Select. Three flavors are available in the early days of the changeover – salted caramel, vanilla, and a cherry Italian ice.
Perhaps the biggest menu changes are a callback to familiar flavors. Building on family traditions, the Logans are adding “hometown original” recipes to their menu. Lori described the hometown original as a “thin, crispy/crunchy” crust.
Lori’s aunt Freda Carr opened Carr’s Deli and Delectables on Second Street in 1985.
“Everyone has already asked if we are bringing Freda’s Finest back,” Lori told Howell County News. “We absolutely are with her original recipe crust that we will be calling our Hometown Original. It will be on the menu soon… My parents Larry and Reda Foster ran the restaurant from ‘91 to ’92, and I have fond memories of working and making pizzas which is why my husband and I wanted to buy it.”
After Carr’s, the Coursen family bought its successor, Heaven Scent from Debbie Ebbert, making this transaction a full-circle moment in the history of pizza in Willow Springs.
“I would like to recognize the Coursen family for their dedication to the community as it has been a staple for 22 years,” Lori said.
Lori Logan is a member of the Willow Springs High School class of 1992. After a twenty-two-year absence from town, she and her husband Andy bought property locally two years ago and moved back full time about a year ago.
Andy Logan will serve as the general manager of the restaurant’s day-to-day operations. Lori will also be a familiar face around the restaurant. She is retaining her full-time job in supply chain management and plans to relocate her home office to an apartment adjacent to the pizzeria.
Sharp-eyed visitors this week will have spotted another familiar face – Freda Carr is helping in the restaurant, working busily at anything that needs to be done and lending her expertise and experience to the new venture. This was most helpful during the inaugural week when the dough machine broke, Lori said, and the new owners had to hand-knead fifty pounds of dough.
More members of the Foster/Logan/Carr clan have been pitching in this week too.
“The best part has been working together as a family,” Lori said, “the nostalgia of bringing me back.”
To view the full menu, visit the new website www.thepizzaamericana.com. Orders can be placed and pre-paid online. Call 417-469-3617 or stop in at 210 East Main Street to learn more.