Andrew Z opens Sportz Pizzeria in Levis CommonsWritten by Alissa Romstadt | | email@example.com
Andrew Zepeda is best known for dishing on the radio, so it may not surprise people that he has always wanted to be in the restaurant business.
Zepeda has made a name for himself in Toledo from his radio show “Andrew Z in the Morning” on 92.5 KISS FM and as the Lucas County Commissioners’ “weight-loss czar.”
When looking for a location for Andrew Z’s Sportz Pizzeria, Zepeda said he focused on three areas: Downtown, by Westfield Mall and Levis Commons.
“We’re going to be a destination location,” he said. “There’re going to be listeners from all over and I want them to be able to find the place very easily.”
He settled on Levis Commons, where he saw need for a pizzeria and a sports bar.
“I think it was a hole in the market,” he said. “BW3s or Jed’s focus around chicken and sports. There haven’t been any places that focus around pizza and sports.”
Zepeda recruited business partners Demetrius Nicodemus, from Andrew Z in the Morning, and his uncle Paul Zepeda from San Antonio.
“I’ve always wanted to open a restaurant,” Nicodemus said.
Head Chef Dave Guevara is also from San Antonio. He has created the items on the menu, including the restaurant’s original “Glass City Style” pizza.
“A friend of mine who was from Chicago was always talking about deep dish pizza,” Guevara said. “And I’ve never had a deep dish; I’m from San Antonio. I thought ‘You know, it would be nice if I made a medium dish pizza.’”
Zepeda said the crust is not thick or thin, but the edges of the crust are high, almost deep dish. “It’s something that we’ve never really seen done anywhere, but it’s phenomenal, and we hope it takes off.”
As “weight-loss czar,” Zepeda has lost 110 in less than two years and takes his responsibilities seriously, he said.
The menu offers pizza, salads and sandwiches starred as “czar friendly.”
“That’s a tough thing about this. You’ve got to try it all, especially this, where the food is so good,” Zepeda said. “I definitely made sure we had things that were low fat.”
From the pizza crust to marinara sauce, menu items from scratch with fresh ingredients, Guevara said.
Quality of menu items is very important, Zepeda said.
“I made sure that the product is phenomenal,” he said. “People will try it out because of who you are, but they won’t keep coming back. So, I’d honestly put any of our pizzas or whatever you try up against anybody’s.”
Another thing Zepeda is careful about is using his radio show for free advertising.
“I won’t say, ‘Yeah, it’s 48 degrees here, I wonder what the temperature is down at the pizza place.’ I try to only mention it when it makes sense,” he said.
Andrew Z’s Sportz Pizzeria will host its grand opening celebration Oct. 2 and 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. each day.
“It’s been amazing how supportive the business community has been,” he said. “It’s been overwhelming to see that.”