In downtown Rome alone, you’ve got Schroeder’s New Deli, Harvest Moon, Johnny’s New York Style Pizza and now Mellow Mushroom as restaurants where the love of pizza can be perfumed with everything from pepperoni to prosciutto.
Don’t forget Domino’s, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, Gondolier’s, Milano’s, Pasquale’s, CiCi’s, Bella Roma or anyone else with pizza on the menu.
But can downtown Rome support four businesses that serve up pizza within a three-block area?
“I have no earthly idea but I hope we can all do well,” said Truman Webb, co-owner at Mellow Mushroom.
Schroeder’s New Deli owner John Schroeder said, “McDonalds is next to Wendy’s and then there’s a Krystal. They say there’s strength in numbers.”
His reference was to the fast-food row on Turner McCall Boulevard in East Rome.
Schroeder, who will celebrate his 30th anniversary on Broad Street next month, welcomed Webb and Mellow Mushroom to the mix on Broad Street.
“I think it will stir up a lot of interest and excitement,” Schroeder said. “Any time something new comes people want to see it and try it out.”
Schroeder said he intentionally beefed up his pizza product a couple of months before Johnny’s opened in March 2010. He said it’s been well received by his customers and is a growing slice of his revenue pie.
Robert Blumberg, owner of Johnny’s New York Style Pizza at 233 Broad St., said he couldn’t be any happier after his first nine months of business in Rome.
He thinks that another pizza shop right across the street could have a snowball effect on downtown.
“We’d love to see Broad Street grow,” said Blumberg. “If we all bring more people to eat downtown, maybe that will bring more businesses downtown.”
Blumberg said he’s been doing a lot of things to keep Johnny’s active, adding live music and trivia contests.
“Business has been very consistent and we’ve been able to develop a great customer base,” Blumberg said.
Webb has the same type of attitude.
“Get enough people down here and we all can do good,” Webb said. “There’s a lot to see and a lot to do in downtown Rome, so everybody needs to come out and eat at one of them.”