Continual Evolution for LouEddie’s Pizza and Brewery - Mountain News : Business

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Continual Evolution for LouEddie’s Pizza and Brewery

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Posted: Thursday, December 21, 2017 10:00 am

LouEddie’s Pizza and Brewery, known mainly for its fire-roasted artisan pizzas, continues to make changes that are of interest to the local community and tourists.

Lou York, owner of LouEddie’s, said that the restaurant garnered publicity early on after opening. Currently, LouEddie’s is on Yelp’s top 100 restaurants in the United States — listed as number 72. It is also ranked as the top restaurant in Lake Arrowhead on TripAdvisor.

“I credit this all to our team and community support. They are smart, hard-working, honest, and just really great people,” she commented about her staff, adding that they have prevailed because of the managers they have. The three managers are Jeff Michelson, Katie Plies and Sven Peterson.

“We continue to see nothing but sales growth,” York stated. “We probably have double the business.”

After the restaurant’s opening, the first couple of years brought a lot of success. York and partner-at-the-time, Chef Eddie Hillary, were running the business together, but in September of 2015 Eddie was airlifted out of the restaurant and “he never came back,” York reflected sadly.

After this occurred, York and the LouEddie’s staff felt the need to push the restaurant to more success — in memory of Eddie.

Eddie was very important to all of the staff; he worked closely with them in the training process. All of the recipes on the menu were created by him, and it was his idea to adopt the pizza bar concept that LouEddie’s is known for.

York added that the staff has supported her in the legacy of the project, and continue to use all of Eddie’s recipes.

“Everyone here knew Eddie,” York expressed. “The restaurant is an ‘Eddie thing.’”

The pizza bar is unlike anything else on the mountain — kids are fond of this style because they can get up close and personal to see how their pizza is being made. The pizza bar aspect of the restaurant is referred to as the kitchen because anyone who is sitting in this part can see exactly what is being done. According to York, there are times when you will see children with their faces pressed up against the glass because they are so amused with how the pizza is being made.

Another part of LouEddie’s is the downstairs saloon that has a very warm, comforting and fun feel to it. The saloon hosts live music every Monday and Tuesday. “The place gets stuffed, and that feels good,” York said. She added that some people have mentioned that LouEddie’s should be bigger, but she disagrees. “If LouEddie’s was bigger, I think it would change the experience.”

York and her staff are focused upon continual evolution. She mentioned that they have focused in on all categories: the food, customer service, the beer and the experience and, although it has been challenging, the team has helped push everything along.

Microbrewing has become something that LouEddie’s is recognized for. The beer brewing room is visible from the saloon; the brewing process takes about 10 hours, after which the ingredients inside the keg ferment for approximately two to three weeks. To brew the beer, the team uses grains like hops, which are basic ingredients in brewing, as well as barley.

Currently, LouEddie’s brew masters are making Amber Wood Ale and Backwoods Porter, which are both Eddie’s recipes. They are in the process of looking at different brew systems, and York mentioned that they hope to have 10 times more product because of this.

To add to the brewing experience, LouEddie’s now offers beer brewing classes, which are based on the theory and methodologies of microbrewing. Classes are by appointment only.

“We contact them [those who took the class] as their kegs are getting ready to go on so they can come back to do a tasting,” York explained, adding that this is something she thinks will attract tourists, as well, and they will come back for the tasting experience.

In addition to the pizza, the saloon and the microbrewery, weddings are also offered at Willow Woods Park, directly behind the restaurant. The weddings are themed as pizza/brewery weddings.

Without the staff, however, York said that none of what has happened would be possible. “They all [the staff] have support around them. We look at people’s strengths, and we work as a team,” she concluded.

For more information on LouEddie’s Pizza and Brewery, call (909) 336-4931. The restaurant is located at 28561 Highway 18, Skyforest, and open Sunday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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