Brothers Arturo Ruiz and Berna Cazares have converted Bob’s Copy shop into Village Pizza — a restaurant that will be specializing in Chicago-style deep dish pizza.
Ruiz came from Mexico City and has been working in Madison restaurants for about 12 years. He has spent time at Rosati’s Pizza, Icon and the Great Dane. Needless to say, his experience will help launch Village Pizza into a popular destination for college students — the group the establishment hopes to target.
The brothers hope to draw in students by having good, fast food. The prices will be around $10, but lunch specials can bring the prices down to $7 for two slices of pizza. The brothers want people to know that the restaurant is categorized as fast-food.
“We want to serve to most of the students,” Ruiz said. “We’re focusing on more fast food and the students. They can get fast, easy and cheaper meals.”
The restaurant is located next to the UU, which means it’s also in close proximity to Ian’s Pizza. The brothers will differentiate themselves from Ian’s, and the other pizza places in town, by offering a variety of pizza styles, Ruiz said.
Chicago-style deep dish will be the main draw, but if deep dish isn’t preferred, thin crust and double dough will be available. The restaurant will also offer pastas, sandwiches and wings. The homemade alfredo pasta is expected to be a big seller.
The foods will be prepared in the restaurant’s full kitchen, where they will use fresh ingredients to make the best fast-food possible. Village Pizza wants to use authentic Italian ingredients.
“We’re going to have totally different ingredients,” Ruiz said. “We’ll use different oils and different sauces that are really authentic Italian. We’re going to mix together different types of cheese to make something new.”
Being a food and dairy hub, Wisconsin will provide many of the ingredients. The other ingredients also come from the Midwest. The special sauces and meats are sourced from Illinois, Ruiz said.
Even though the brothers don’t have any grand-opening promotions planned, the taste and prices will surely draw in the student body. And there’s alcohol. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. during the week and will remain open until bar close on the weekends.
There will be beer and wine but no hard liquor. The alcohol selection will be the expected domestic brews — nothing international.
With all that there is to offer, people will be wanting to try Village Pizza as soon as possible. The brothers expect to officially open within the next two weeks. All that needs to be done now is some finishing touches and wait for inspection.
Converting from a printing shop to a pizza restaurant wasn’t easy.
“We had to change the whole electric,” Ruiz said. “We had to build the exhaust system and get a plumber.”
The hard work will surely pay off. With enough experience under his belt, Ruiz wanted to open his own restaurant because it’s something he thinks he’s ready for, Ruiz said. After the inspection happens, the brothers will prove to the community that they are ready to operate a business in a town that already has different pizza businesses.
At the end of the day, Ruiz wants people to know that the restaurant will be focused on the student body.
“We are a new, Italian-style establishment in Madison,” Ruiz said. “We welcome everybody but the place is more tailored to students with the fast food.”