By Nancy R. Elliott
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — Everywhere you look, it’s a slice of the community. Moms, dads, kids, seniors, young couples, old friends, relatives – you name it – everyone can find a comfortable spot at Greek’s Pizzeria. It’s a place to relax and enjoy the company.
In the end, though, it’s the pizza that gets you in the door.
“The food is delicious,” said Bob Knick of Anderson. He and his wife Janet have been coming to Greek’s Pizzeria since it opened at its location on Martin Luther King Blvd. on Anderson’s southwest side early last year.
“They’ve got the best pizza in town,” agreed Janet. “And the breadsticks are phenomenal.” She was clutching a take-out box with the remainder of the pizza and salad they weren't prepared to leave without.
It’s that Greek's pizza that’s the big draw. So what’s the secret? Greek’s Pizzeria operations manager Clay Sexton says it’s a combination of several things.
“Our sauce is a little bit sweeter. We have muenster blend in our cheese. Our dough’s made fresh daily,” said Sexton. He also pointed out, “We’re known for our garlic butter blend.”
On the menu
The Greek's special pizza is one of a number of pizza offerings on the menu, and it's the most popular. It’s got double pepperoni, onion, ham, green pepper, mushrooms and sausage on top of Greek’s special dough, sauce and cheese. The chicken bacon ranch pizza comes in a close second.
On the sandwich side of the house, the Stromboli shell scores. Look for that handmade dough tenderly holding sausage, cheese, green peppers and onions that still have just the right crunch.
“It’s local. It’s fresh,” said Sexton. And it tastes like it.
Throw some craft beer into the mix, and you have a very inviting, low-key destination that works for just about everybody. On Wednesday nights, toss in live acoustic performances, and it’s totally copacetic. Last week, it was Matt Cookman bringing the tunes.
The restaurant’s familiar to many because it's been around forever. The building dates originally to 1928, and was known as the Red Brick Inn. Former owners Gus and Maritsa Karas made their mark with fried chicken. Look around, and you’ll see plenty of the history of the place, including the reupholstered counter stools in the front lobby. The Red Brick Inn purchased them from an ice cream parlor. Photographs tell a lot of the story, displayed on the walls.
“There’s a lot of history in the building,” said Sexton.
The atmosphere is casual and unadorned, but open and pleasant. Red-and-white checkered oilcloth brightens the tables under glass tops. Faux wood paneling covers the walls. Wide windows range around the room.
The wait staff treats customers with a familiar warmth, almost like family. Amanda Catron has been serving up customers at Greek’s for about a year.
“I love the people and I love the customers,” explained Catron with an engaging smile.
The Rahr family of Pendleton was among those recent customers. Dad and mom, Jason and Kelly, along with Gavin, 5, and Anna, 8, enjoyed games, music, and, of course, pizza.
“I think it’s great,” said Jason. “I’m really happy they have games for the kids.” Indeed, the entire family was happily immersed in some serious Barrel Full of Monkeys until the chicken bacon ranch pizza showed up.
Family and Friends
Although Greek’s was in Anderson under other ownership since 2009, the franchise opened up at its new location in February 2012. It’s the collaboration of two friends, Jeremy Stow and Clay Sexton.
“Our wives have been best friends since birth,” said Sexton. That friendship drew Stow and Sexton together, each bringing their own talents to the new partnership. Stow’s field is real estate – he owns the Lapel-based business, On Time Appraisal. Sexton brought years of multi-unit restaurant experience to the party.
“We did it because we wanted to,” said Sexton. When they elected to move the location to Martin Luther King Blvd., they thought it through.
“Most people told us we were crazy,” said Sexton. The gamble paid off though. Near I-69 and Flagship, with easy access to Anderson, Lapel and Pendleton, Sexton pointed out, “It’s kind of a hidden gem.” In making the move, staffing jumped from 15 to more than 30 to accommodate the growing clientele.
Family’s the name of the game for the business partners, who are very engaged as parents themselves. Don’t be surprised if you spot Sexton or Stow surrounded by kids and parents from a son’s football team, enjoying some Greek's pizza.
“I like things like that – celebrating my kid’s football game,” said Sexton. The partners also embrace their staff as part of the family.
“It’s family owned and operated. Our staff is our family. We’re a very close group of people,” said Sexton.
Like Nancy Elliott on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @ NancyElliott_HB, or call 640-4805.
If you go What: Greek's Pizzeria Where: 6317 Martin Luther King Blvd., Anderson When: Seven days a week, open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, and stays open until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Live, acoustic music Wednesday evenings. More info: A variety of pizzas, sandwiches, shells, salads and more. Beverages include craft beer. Delivery and take-out available. Look for Greek's Pizzeria Anderson on Facebook or at www.greekspizzeria.com, or call 640-5300.