Cameo Pizza co-owner: 'We were waiting for the right time to re-open'
Aug 29, 2014 at 12:07 PM
Coaching golf is something that links Matt Keech and Dave Weisenburger.
So it's only fitting that Keech's business, Cameo Pizza, has made a new home at Eagle Creek Golf Club, where Weisenburger is the general manager.
"Golf has been a vehicle to meet a lot of people," said Keech, who owns Cameo Pizza with his mother, Jane.
Weisenburger, who coached golf at St. Paul High School for 10 years, became acquainted with Keech, who was the golf coach at Sandusky St. Mary's for six years.
Almost four years to the day, Cameo Pizza is back in the Norwalk area. The new business is Cameo at the Creek, 2046 New State Road, which is open to the public.
"This is a really nice facility. It's clean. They do things right," said Keech, referring to Eagle Creek. "They do a great job."
Weisenburger, the Eagle Creek and Cameo at the Creek general manager, is pleased to see the pizzeria at the public golf course.
"It's two great organizations coming together to serve the people of Norwalk," he said. "You don't have to be a golfer to eat here or be a member."
Keech hopes Cameo at the Creek will attract people attending Norwalk High School sporting events.
"We really want to get the families out here before and after going to games," he said.
The former Cameo Pizza was on Hester Street from September 1999 through Aug. 1, 2010. A fire destroyed the recently demolished building, which also housed Shamrock Tavern.
"With the Shamrock not re-opening, we were waiting for the right time, the right place and the right people to re-open," Keech said. "We've always wanted to come back (to Norwalk); we just didn't know when."
Cameo Pizza in Norwalk only offered pick-up and delivery. Cameo has been based out of Sandusky since 1936.
Keech praised the Schaffer family, which owns the Hester Street building.
"The Schaffer family welcomed us with open arms," he said. "It's been great because we've had so many people asking when we're going to come back."
Regarding the Eagle Creek location, Keech said Weisenburger "always wanted to do something out here."
"He said, 'Let's take a look out here,'" Keech added.
Cameo at the Creek can hold about 140 people.
"We really wanted a family-oriented, sit-down dining experience and this gave us that opportunity," Keech said.
The menu includes a barbecue chicken quesadilla, wraps, subs, burgers and wings. There is also a "kids menu" and there's a selection of specialty pizzas.
Thirteen local investors made Cameo at the Creek a reality.
"We've got a ton of us out here who own Norwalk golf properties, who then own the Cameo franchise out here," said one of the investors, Ken Bleile.
The idea for Cameo at the Creek started in January or February.
"We knew a lot of people were missing Cameo Pizza," Bleile said. "Actually, it (the idea) was well received. Everybody thought it was a great idea."
The lifelong Norwalk resident said Eagle Creek is the type of facility that easily could make a new restaurant possible, with a few upgrades such as a pizza oven.
"It's a public golf course. Everybody can play here," Bleile said. "A lot of people said it has the best view in Norwalk."
Cameo at the Creek is a three- or four-minute drive from Uptown Norwalk.
"It's better than a drive to Sandusky for dinner," Bleile said.