WANNA SPLIT A SLICE? — Big G’s Pizzeria offers pizza by the slice, as well as a variety of other sizes, as part of an extensive menu. Photos by Lizz Schumer.
SPRINGVILLE — There’s a new pizza place in town, at a location that has long been known for just that. George Ferner has opened Big G’s Pizzeria, at the corner of Routes 39 and 240, and the new owner said he has some ideas that will make his restaurant thrive.
Ferner has been in the restaurant business for almost a decade, as the former owner of the Elm Street Inn in Canandaigua. That restaurant, a sit-down place with takeout options, did what Ferner described as a brisk business, turning out more than 250 pounds of fish on fish fry Fridays and hosting prime rib dinners, in addition to pizza, wings and standard dinner fare.
HOW CAN I HELP YOU — George Ferner shows off the menu, at his new pizzeria.
The structural engineer decided to come back home and open Big G’s, as a semi-retirement project, since the location is smaller than his former restaurant and just two miles from where he lives.
“It wasn’t big enough to be a sit-down place, but it’s just the size I want, to be a fun little project,” Ferner said, of the restaurant. “I made my money, working up and down the East Coast, and I was doing some remodeling [of my former restaurant] when this place came available. It didn’t need much work and it was close to home, so I thought I’d give it a shot.”
The East Aurora native bought a house in the area, four years ago, and said he likes the Big G’s location because it is situated at a major intersection, with traffic coming from Colden, Sardinia, West Valley and Springville.
“In this town, there are only [four] other pizza places,” he added. “A lot of towns have 10 or more. We’re on the other end of town, from a lot of the other ones, so if customers don’t want to head all the way down there, or they’re headed up this way from the [Gentner] auction, we’re at the perfect place for them.”
Big G’s will also be instituting what Ferner called “meet you delivery,” in which a delivery person will meet a customer, at a pre-designated spot, halfway between the restaurant and the customer’s home.
“A lot of people live way out in the boonies, where it’d be too far for us to deliver, but they don’t want to come all the way into town, either,” Ferner explained. “This way, we can set up a place to meet people, good customers, so we can get their business and they don’t have to come too far.”
Although Ferner said he kept the set-up the same as he found it, he did institute a widely varied menu, with subs, hoagies, burritos, salads, sandwiches, wraps, paninis, calzones and more.
“I like to give people a lot of options. The ladies like different things, and I want to make sure everyone can get what they want,” he said. Ferner has three different pizza sauces available: hot garlic, his own take on a traditional sauce and basil.
“I did [the different sauces] in Canandaigua, and it went over well,” he said.
The restaurant opened on Aug. 26, so Ferner and his staff could “get the kinks out,” as he put it, before the Gentner Auction market day on Wednesday and the Labor Day weekend. He said he plans to run football game-watch specials, holiday offers and more, as the business gets going.
“We wanted to make sure we were all ready to go,” he said. “We had a good first few days, and are hoping for more.”
Ferner has 10 employees, all of whom came recommended by his nephew, as ready to help him run his pizza-making business.
“My nephew knew kids who had been in the business; who was good, who wasn’t good,” he said. “You want people you can rely on.”
As for the owner himself, he does some cooking, runs the register or whatever else has to be done. “I do what I’ve got to do, to get my hands dirty with the guys,” he said, adding that he had to go in the back and make dough.
Ferner’s favorite menu item is the steak and spinach sub with mozzarella cheese. “It’s a little different, from what you usually see. A lot of what we’ve got is a little different, but it’s all good.”
Big G’s Pizzeria is located at 689 East Main St. in Springville. The business is open Monday – Thursday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Ferner said he may expand his hours, depending on interest.
The business can be reached at 597-7865.