Family oriented Better Days Pizzeria reopens in Lakeside
After being closed for a year, Better Days Pizzeria reopened last week with a bang. Grand opening, ribbon-cutting, live band, salsa eating contest, sculpture exhibit outside – nothing was left to chance to create an awesome experience for the Lakesiders who came to celebrate this event.
The locals know the tumultuous history of this iconic place located on Maine Avenue called 67 Bar and Grill in the old days, it was reinvented in 2014 when it became Bucking Delorian, a take out joint with live entertainment five days a week. The owner, Shawn Katou, decided that the place is too similar with Eastbound Bar and Grill just down the street and the competition is hurting both businesses, therefore he decided to create a restaurant that will complement the other. This is how “Better Days Pizzeria” was born, a family friendly place with a full bar, pool tables and arcade games. The sells skyrocketed up to 47 percent in the first and a half-month.
Katou believes that the 3,400 sq. ft. sit down diner with games is the perfect place for a town like Lakeside, which is a family oriented community. “ That’s why we have the arcades and the pool tables, so that a husband and a wife can come in, enjoy a beer or a cocktail and in the same time feed their kids some pizza and then let them go and play and not having to worry where they are and what are they doing.”
The idea of opening a pizzeria is based on the tradition perpetuated by Katou’s family who owns “Giant New York Pizza” down on Los Coaches Rd. in Lakeside. Katoy and his brother took over that business in 2010, and then Katou decided to go on his own. Coming to work was like never leaving home because he worked with his family and it was exciting. Katou wants to recreate that kind of atmosphere now and he has his mom’s help to achieve his biggest dream. Mrs. Katou comes in five times a week, early in the morning to bake the bread, wheat and white. So, home made bread, delicious pizza, everything made fresh in the house, family friendly prices – what’s not to like?
Katou wants to expand this business in a few years and maybe turn it into a franchise. “ I am always looking to take risk and always want to compete with myself. To push the limits and see how far I can go.” Right now, he is glad to be back in business after a “long, depressing year when I thought that the business is going to be taken away from me.” Katou is grateful to be part of this amazing community who was and still is very supportive of his business and where everybody knows everybody. Everywhere you go, he says, it feels like a big, happy family. “ I had nothing, but good feedback and I am here to work with the community to build a better Lakeside.”