Red Neck Pizza, a well-known eatery in Laurel, by popular demand is opening a second location in Billings. The ever increasingly popular restaurant will open sometime in November in Shiloh Commons, a new development at the corner of Central Avenue and Shiloh.
While they had a five year plan for expansion, owners Ann Marie and Thomas Barton, moved their plans up in order to take advantage of what seems to be an extraordinary opportunity. “The location is so good and project is so good,” said Thomas, “We thought we would be missing an opportunity, if we didn’t act now.”
Red Neck Pizza will be located at 3911 Central Avenue, in the sole stand -alone building in the Shiloh Commons complex. Also in the building will be Taco del Sol and Mazevo, both of which are Billings businesses opening second locations. (Mazevo is the former Off The Leaf Coffee.)
Shiloh Commons is being developed as a second “downtown” for Billings. It is being built in three phases, and consists of four units, three of which will feature retail space at ground level with 144 apartments on the upper floors and underground parking for tenants. The project is being marketed by Coldwell Banker Commercial CBS, who report that tenant space in the first phase has been completely committed.
“We are excited to get a new location open and serve west Billings,” said Thomas, explaining that ever since he and Ann Marie purchased Red Neck Pizza, four years ago, customers have persistently urged them to open a location in Billings. The business was started about three years earlier serving up pizza, sandwiches and broasted chicken.
Originally from Montana, the Bartons who were living in California wanted to return to Montana. “We missed Montana and we definitely missed our family.” All of the Bartons’ five children attended MSU –Billings and were staying in Montana and starting families. They have one grandchild and expect two more in a few months.
Thomas, who has had a long career in management, said that they saw a lot of potential for Red Neck Pizza. “They had a great product and a loyal following in Laurel.”
Red Neck Pizza has a number of unique flavors that aren’t commonly found, including a Deutschland Special that includes pepperoni, pepper and sauerkraut. There’s also the very popular “messy” Red Neck Garlic Alfredo , a Mac and Cheese Pizza, and the Loaded Spud Pizza with a parmesan base with bacon, onion and cheese, and the Deluxe Pizza with several meats and vegetables. All of their pizzas feature a special cheese blend that is unique to Red Neck Pizza.
Tom said that their pizzas are a little more expensive, but then they are also bigger. The large pizza is 16 inches as compared to the more typical 14 inches of competitors, and a Red Neck Pizza is a lot more food – it can easily weigh between five and six pounds. “A large pizza from our competitors might not even feed two people,” explained Tom, “but one of ours can feed five or six people.”
Their menu also includes appetizers, sandwiches, and broasted chicken, the latter of which is fast becoming their most popular menu item.
The menu will remain very much the same in the new location, including beer and wine. They may eventually add a salad bar and a pizza bar, said Thomas.
The Laurel store employs seven people and the Bartons expect to need twice as many employees in Billings. Ann Marie will manage the Laurel store and Thomas the Billings store.