RE OF SUNSHINE: Longtime Fave Pizza Del Re Reopens
at the moment, the pizza joint is take-out only, but buffet’s return expected
author & photos by McKenna Scherer |
Eau Claire’s iconic Pizza Del Re officially reopened Thursday, Oct. 13, and will continue through Sunday, Oct. 16, marking its first weekend in business under new ownership since it was bought last spring.
The long-time northside pizza place is now owned by Vangjel Kapbardhi, CEO of the local Greek and Mediterranean eatery/food truck Dhimiters. The return of the beloved buffet has been long-awaited since it closed in 2021. Folks will have to wait a bit longer yet before returning to the actual buffet – a date for in-store eating hasn’t been set – but as of Oct. 13, Pizza Del Re is open for take-out.
By 1pm the busy pizzeria was already selling out of several favorite pies and ingredients, which local businesses were ordering by the batch. Some folks had even come in during their lunch breaks to pick up some za to go, ready to enjoy with their families in the evening.
Del Re regulars may have recognized Cherie Friedrich – or as she was affectionately known by customers, “Grandma” or “Gma” – who stopped in for two take-out pizzas of her own this afternoon. She worked for the previous owners for about 30 years before retiring in August 2021, and along with her pizza order, she gave some old photos from her time to Keith Carlson, one of the joint’s former owners, who was at Pizza Del Re to help out on its reopening day.
“You just meet the most wonderful people here,” Friedrich said. “People will keep coming back, I know it.”
Pizza Del Re invites community members to order online or over the phone, or to stop in and order. Since delivery will not be offered until next week, people can walk in and pick up their orders, where they will be greeted by the same red window hoods and iconic sign.
Stop in to 911 N. Hastings Way, Eau Claire, or call ahead at (715) 598-1786. Check out Del Re’s menu and order online on their website. (Note: Phone and internet contact may be delayed on opening weekend because of the high volume of business.)