Saturday, January 23, 2021

Guido’s Pizza to change name to Slices, redesign menu

Staff Writer | January 12, 2021 1:00 AM

MOSES LAKE — On Monday night, Guido’s Brick Oven Pizza closed its doors. On Wednesday, Slices Brick Oven House will open in its place.

The iconic Moses Lake pizza parlor on West Broadway Avenue is undergoing a major redesign, owner Bailey Kate Jasper announced in a Sunday post to social media. The redesign entails a major expansion to the restaurant’s menu, but Jasper felt it was important to also change the store’s name to reflect its new ownership and direction.

“Guido’s was something that — the previous owners were Italian, and it was them,” Jasper said. “I didn’t want to pretend I’m something I wasn’t. But if there’s one thing I know, it’s food.”

Jasper, who was born and raised in Moses Lake, purchased the restaurant nearly two years ago from its previous owners after she graduated from Washington State University with business management classes and a degree in social sciences. But she already knew what she was going to do.

After graduating from Moses Lake High School, she wanted to jump right into operating her own business in town, she said in a Monday interview.

“Owning a business here and trying to make a difference in the community was pretty much what I wanted to do from the start,” Jasper said. “As soon as I graduated high school, I just wanted to go to work. I just really want to be a part of the community.”

But given the difficulties of the last year, she’s grateful she continued her education. She originally planned for the redesign to get underway early in the year, but those plans were thoroughly derailed by the pandemic and related closures of the business. A redesign of this scope requires a lot of money, and money was unexpectedly tight in 2020, Jasper said.

So Jasper took advantage of the delays and turned to her community, spending time getting feedback from longtime fans of Guido’s, as well as those who had never eaten at the pizzeria, and laying out an extensive plan for when the redesign could get underway.

“I just worked really hard on planning that in that way,” Jasper said. “If you ask any of my friends and family, I stayed up lots of nights.”

It was important to Jasper that the best-loved aspects of Guido’s were retained in the restaurant’s new iteration, and time after time, she heard the same thing: keep the crust, and use high-quality ingredients.

“A lot of our customers make a note, the best thing about your place, I don’t feel sick full, I feel healthy full,” Jasper said. “It’s not too greasy. And that high-quality crust —thin, crispy, delicious.”

The new restaurant will entail a significant expansion of the menu, including options for plant-based foods and gluten-free crusts and other foodstuffs, trendy alternatives elsewhere in the state but less common in Moses Lake. Jasper said she wanted to provide different types of foods to make sure anyone, regardless of their preferences or needs, could enjoy a meal at Slices.

“Whether you’re 2 years old, we got mac and cheese, if you’re 15 years old, we have the bagel sandwich, if you’re 50, we’ve got an all-meat pizza, or if you’re 90 years old and you want gluten-free, we’re trying to offer something to everyone,” Jasper said.

Jasper said she recognizes there’s a risk in making major changes to a well-established business, but Slices is what she wanted to bring to the community, so she’s hopeful the changes will ultimately be well received.

“This is going to be a risk, but business is kind of all about risk,” Jasper said. “Sometimes you gotta shut down something to open up the doors for something else.”