FORT MILL TOWNSHIP — Village Pizza owner Ginny Myers celebrated the one-year anniversary of the restaurant’s reopening with a ribbon cutting ceremony March 11.
The ceremony also marked 25 years since Myers first opened Village Pizza in the spring of 1989 and was attended by Village Pizza staff, the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce and long-time customers.
Myers owned Village Pizza for 18 years before retiring and selling it to the restaurant’s managers. The restaurant eventually changed hands again, becoming Market Street Pizza, which closed after one year. The owners of the plaza asked Myers if she was interested in returning with Village Pizza and she accepted.
Myers said she was ready for the challenge of operating a restaurant again and even more ready to give back to the community that gave her so much during the years.
“This was home for 18 years so it was like coming home,” Myers said.
The feeling of home was aided by a return of long-time former customers like the Ippolito family. The Ippolitos went to Village Pizza almost every Friday night since its opening in 1989 until the restaurant closed, and have restarted their tradition since Village Pizza reopened last year. Charissane Ippolito also worked at Village Pizza from 1994 to 2004 and has lent a helping hand since the restaurant reopened.
“This is definitely a family restaurant,” Myers said. “Families feel good about bringing their kids in. Parents feel good about letting their 16-year-olds work here.”
Charissane Ippolito now brings her own children to eat at Village Pizza every Friday night just like her parents, Joe and Ann, did with her and her siblings when she was younger.
“The kids can come here and make a little noise and it doesn’t upset anybody,” Joe Ippolito said. “So it’s very relaxed, very family oriented. We don’t want to come to white tablecloth and candles. We want to be able make a lot of noise and have a good time.”
There have been some changes since reopening Village Pizza, including new employees. Since many of Village Pizza’s former employees had worked there for so long, Myers said it was a challenge to train the new employees on how Village Pizza operates – particularly in the kitchen. She credits them learning quickly.
Another change has come in the development of the area around Village Pizza, which Myers said has helped grow her business.
“The best part about coming back is seeing the old and new customers,” Myers said. “I like forming new relationships with the newer people. I want to remain and become, for the new people, their neighborhood pizzeria.”