On Saturday, 3-11-2017, one of the Omaha/Council Bluffs/Bellevue area's best and most famous places to eat called it quits.
I'm talking about the Pizza Shoppe and Pub (AKA Pizza Shoppe Collective), located at 6056 Maple St., Omaha, NE 68104.
From the day in 1995 that the restaurant first opened its doors, the Pizza Shoppe served up some of the best pizza in town (well, I like to think it did!), along with a variety of sandwiches, salads, and oven-baked pastas.
PSP/PSC served up something else that was superb: Live entertainment.
Some of the best local bands (such as Clark and Co.) played the Pizza Shoppe
...as did some of the best solo acts in the Omaha Metro.
And down through the years, restaurant owner Amy Ryan and operations manager Carla Kerrigan opened up the Pizza Shoppe and Pub to different nonprofit organizations so that the groups could do fundraisers.
One such group was Omaha Together One Community, which held a 2013 fundraiser at the Maple Street eatery. (Man, that fundraiser was a success!)
The OTOC fundraiser inspired the Great Plains Ragtime Society (the folks responsible for the local Ragtime to Riches Festival) to try its luck at drawing a crowd at the Pizza Shoppe.
Result: Starting in 2014, Amy, Carla, and the rest of the staff greenlighted the first Sunday night in November for Ragtime Night at the Pizza Shoppe.
For the 2014 and 2015 events, Bob Arsenault and I teamed up to play for the eaters.
Last year, though, things didn't work out for Bob (what with the busy, busy schedule he and his wife Pat went through during 2016)...so I ended up being the whole bill.
Still, all three Ragtime Nights at the Pizza Shoppe were fun!
We drew some good crowds for Ragtime Night, with 2015 being the most successful incarnation (GPRS earned $99 that time...10% of what the restaurant took in that entire Sunday).
Here's what prompted the decision to close down the Shoppe: Amy accepted a new gig...that of operating the Benson Theater, next door at 6054 Maple St.
But beginning next month, if you're still looking for a deep-dish delight (or a thin-crust one) at 6056, you'll be in luck: David and Brenda Losole will start up a new eating place, Virtuoso Pizzeria. [Currently, David's still at the family restaurant, Lo Sole Mio (3001 S. 32nd Ave., 68105).]
Here's wishing David and Brenda...as well as Amy and Carla...all the very best.