Pizza, beer and Evel Knievel—if only someone could bundle that trifecta of awesome.
The group behind the Golden Tiki is doing just that. It’s called Evel Pie, and it could launch on Fremont East as soon as October.
“Pizza runs in my family. It runs in my blood,” says managing partner Branden Powers, who comes from a family of chain restaurateurs in Bakersfield, California. “Evel Knievel was a childhood icon. He was just a badass … he was as much a part of Vegas as Elvis and Sinatra.”
Powers came up with the idea and connected with Knievel’s son, Kelly Knievel, who will also be involved in the concept which takes over the space of the short-lived F. Pigalle fondue restaurant on East Fremont Street next door to the new Red dance club. Before fondue, it housed Radio City Pizzeria.
Evel Pie will be molded after a 1979 pizza shop, “like the pizza parlors I grew up in as a kid,” Powers says, and will offer a no-frills menu including cheep beers like Hamm’s, Schlitz and Coors. “It’s not gonna be this foo-foo stuff … No crazy asparagus with goat cheese and all that crap. ... It’s gonna be cheap booze, cheap slices and just really good food.”
Powers and his team plan to open next month but they’re in no rush to hurry the process. “I just want to do it right,” he says. The interior, overseen by Powers and designer Lieuchi Fine, will feature pinball machines, memorabilia, Schwinn Stingray bikes, Dogtown skateboards and a bronze statue of Evel Knievel himself. “He’s a working man’s hero, he’s a legend,” Powers says.
Evel Pie will have a late-night window for grab-and-go slices and will serve up Knievel’s drink of choice, the Montana Mary—beer, tomato juice and Wild Turkey.