Pizza Ranch cooking in Austin
Here's some from piece from my astute PB colleague in Austin, Kay Fate.
Note that this is owned by the same people who have the Stewartille Ranch. The previous owner had been looking at Byron as a possible location, but I believe that goal has faded away.
Austin's newest restaurant, Pizza Ranch, is set to open today in the former Cashwise building on 18th Avenue Northwest.
Owners are Mike and Lisa DeBoer, of Fairmont; Ryan and Marcia Achterhoff, of Orange City, Iowa; and Brent and Denise Tjeerdsma, of Sioux Falls, S.D.
DeBoer and Tjeerdsma were friends as children in Hull, Iowa; this is the fourth Pizza Ranch they've opened. The other three are in Fairmont, Stewartville and Mankato.
The restaurant occupies nearly 7,000 square feet in the southwest corner of the former grocery store and seats about 220. Takeout and delivery are available.
The building's remodel was "pretty substantial," said Mike DeBoer. "It was run down a little bit; it'd been sitting empty for about three years."
The business will start off with roughly 75 employees, he said, but with increased efficiencies, will drop to about 50 full- and part-time employees.
The group had considered Austin for its next restaurant a few years ago.
"At that time, though, the economy had taken a downturn," he said. "Morale was down, so it seemed not the time. But I came back here again when this leasing opportunity came open, and I just thought, 'Let's do it.'"