Chad Lynn’s newest restaurant specializes in gourmet pizza, subs and salads
DILLON HILLS – Nestled at the entrance of Dillon State Park, near the beach off Clay Littick Drive, is the latest pizza craze to hit Muskingum County.
Buckeye Piez, a new business opened by Chad and Johanne Lynn, is still in the process of finishing its interior design and storefront signage. But the kitchen has been rolling for almost a month, pumping out pizzas, subs and salads as much as possible.
“Our kitchen is almost running at full capacity,” Lynn said last week, just before the evening rush was about to take hold. He currently has nine employees and is seeking a delivery driver.
Even as COVID-19 wreaked havoc on many small businesses across the country, especially bars and restaurants, Lynn followed through with a commitment he made in late 2019. The business is located at the old Gity’s Banquet Hall, which is currently in the process of renovation.
He originally planned to open in early spring but COVID-19 pushed the Lynns in a different direction. The opening date was ultimately pushed due to approval from the Muskingum County Health Department, which was working remotely.
They spent the time during the early stages of the pandemic and well into the summer remodeling and developing more ideas, including new wing sauces that Lynn makes on his own. It finally opened about a month ago for carryout only, with indoor dining to begin as soon as the interior is completed.
In the meantime, residents in Dillon Hills and Nashport, to name a few, have another local option.
“We live over in Stonehenge and there is just nothing out here,” Lynn said. “We saw a niche and a need for it, so off we went for it.”
Lynn, who also operates Honeybaked Ham on Maple Avenue, is no stranger to the restaurant business. He said he has always wanted to open another establishment and saw pizza as a need in the area.
“I was just waiting for the right opportunity and the right location,” Lynn said.
He admits running both stores has been highly consuming, upwards of 70 hours per week, but he knows it’s the personal cost of getting a new business on its feet. This one is off and running, despite few knowing of its existence.
Word of mouth has been its lone advertisement, not that it has mattered.
“We’ve been getting crushed,” Lynn said.
The restaurant specializes in pizza, which Lynn said is a hybrid of robust New York-style flavor on a choice of traditional Sicilian-style or thin crust. Customers can build their own off a choice of 16 toppings or choose from specialty menu.
The Meat Lovers, which includes pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, salami, bacon and ham, weighs upwards of 10 pounds, Lynn said, while the highly popular BLT and Chicken Aioli includes his homemade garlic aioli sauce.
Yet, the wings subs and salads have been almost as popular, he said. So are the garlic bread strips that also are served with the garlic aioli.
Lynn said his philosophy for the restaurant is to create “a quality product with quality ingredients, and basically make people want to come here.”
Cost for a specialty pizza is $14.99 for a small and $19.99 for a large, while build-your-own offers options from the 7- to 16-inch range, with a cost between $4.79 for a personal and $13.99 for a large. Lynn said he is also pondering pasta options for dine-in, depending on capacity.
There are also five sub options and three salad options, nine wing sauces that range from mild to the hot and spicy Buckeye Madness, and a dessert PB&J pizza.
“I want everybody to enjoy the pizza,” Lynn said. “I feel like I’ve got a good product that people are going to want once they try it for the first time.”
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