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Jim's Pizza Box opening in Vermilion

By Michael Harrington • Mar 25, 2019 at 3:00 PM

VERMILION — A family-owned pizza restaurant is taking its brand east to Vermilion.

Jim’s Pizza Box plans to open its third-location at 4503 Liberty Ave. near Huntington Bank. But, unlike its restaurants in Milan and Huron, the bar is the planned focus.

“The Milan location doesn’t have alcohol and we have it in a very limited capacity in Huron. The bar is going to be very much the heart of the new restaurant,” co-owner Jim West Jr. said.

The building’s focal point will be a u-shaped bar, but the restaurant will maintain the family atmosphere. Family is very important to the restaurant’s brand. Jim Jr.’s father, Jim West Sr., opened the first Jim’s Pizza Box in 1978 in Milan and then expanded to Huron in 1998.

The newest location will be under the ownership of Jim Jr., Jim Sr.’s nephew Adam Zadell and Mike Watson, a family friend and former Wendy’s executive.

Jim Jr. and Zadell both grew up working at Jim’s Pizza Box and learned the ins and outs of the business. Zadell has been running the Milan location since he got out of college.

“It’s still in the family, which is the heart of the restaurant, and the atmosphere is very much still intact,” Watson said. “I worked for Wendy’s for 30 years and learned what it meant to be a founder with Dave Thomas and how the brand really carries through that family tradition and I saw the same thing with these guys.”

Watson’s wife, Roberta, is overseeing extensive renovations to the property, which will be made to fit the aesthetics and feel the community where it resides just like the other two restaurants.

Jim Jr. will help ensure the restaurant the brand’s standards while Zadell and Jim Jr.’s brother-in-law, Ben Washburn, will handle operations. They hope to have a soft opening by Easter and to be fully operational by early May, Watson said.

“We will tailor the restaurant for the community, but people can expect the same service and quality they’ve had in Milan and Huron,” Jim Jr. said. “We are going in with the expectation of becoming a part of the community just like we are in Milan and Huron.”

 

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