That’s amore

By By Ana Breton

By Ana Breton

Whether it’s a first date or a celebrity party, history is made here.

It’s where young and old, famous and unknown come to melt their memories into cheesy pull-aparts.

And for more than 25 years, The Pie Pizzeria has been creating memories for the thousands of people that pass through the popular restaurant every year.

“I first came here for my 16th birthday party,” Jessie Smith, who is now a sophomore in business, said. “And now I just come in here to reminisce, not necessarily for the pizza,'” she said.

History literally unfolds at The Pie, as it is most commonly known, and although most may be in the memories of the people that come here, some is left behind.

Phrases like “Catherine eats poo,” “Mozart kicks ass” and “Bill Pratt’s wife is fat” are written on the restaurant wall. It’s so plastered with names and phrases that it takes a squinting eye to sort out exactly what’s there.

Eric Purkey, who has worked at The Pie for nine months, said the writing started when someone penned something behind a Marilyn Monroe picture that is hung on the east wall.

“The managers at the time painted over it and then put the picture on top,” Purkey, a senior in history, said. “But they got tired of telling people not to do it, so they let them.”

More sentimental messages, such as “Senior Ball 2001,” “I heart Emilee” and “In memory: Mell Huppi ’82-’00” can also be found.

The popular restaurant changed its name to The Pie in 1980. Before then, it was Bimbo’s Pizzeria, which was established in the 1960s.

And for several U students, working at The Pie is a chance to make memories of their own.

“Even if you’re having a hard day, you can come here and crack jokes with the staff,” Purkey said. “We’re like a family.”

U students that work at The Pie are known as “the gringos.” The other staff members, who are mostly Mexican, are called “the amigos,” said James Maxwell, who has worked at The Pie for seven months.

The first soccer game between “the gringos” and “the amigos” will take place this Sunday.

“I think we might win,” said Maxwell, a freshman in music.

But sometimes working at The Pie can become a challenge.

“It’s definitely hard to get homework done,” said Todd Glew, who has worked at the restaurant for six months.

The Pie’s busiest time is Friday and Saturday nights, or, as Purkey has dubbed it, “the drunk rush.”

Because The Pie is open until 3 a.m. both weekend nights, its employees often get off work in the wee hours of the morning.

“But I’m up late anyways, do I don’t mind,” said Glew, a senior in parks, recreation and tourism.

And although Glew said he works at The Pie to earn money, he is also dedicating a lot of time to a skiing career, as he is training for the 2010 Vancouver, Canada Olympics.

The Pie Pizzeria is located at 1320 E. 200 South, below the University Pharmacy. It’s open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. and Sunday from noon to 11 p.m. Delivery is also available by calling 582-5700.