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Image 87 of The Independent March 30, 2012

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D6 PROGRESS Friday, March 30, 2012 THE INDEPENDENT | Ashland | Kentucky PHOTOS BY LEE WARD / THE INDEPENDENT ABOVE: Glen and Sharon Rice of Catlettsburg enjoy a night out at Evaroni's in Kenova. BELOW: Tiny and Gladys Breeding of South Point celebrated a recent family birthday at Evaroni's in Kenova. BOTTOM: Evaroni's sign includes its slogan. right The spin on pizza Since the late 1960s, business ‘has never slowed’ for popular Evaroni’s in Kenova By LEE WARD The Independent KENOVA, W.VA. Tiny Breeding of Chesapeake has a long history with Evaroni’s restaurant in Kenova. He was a representative of Standard Food in Huntington, now U.S. Foods in Hurricane, W.Va., for 30 years, selling food supplies to the restaurant. “I sold them spaghetti and 100pound sacks of flour,” Breeding said. “I don’t remember how many sacks a week. I’ve been retired for 30 years.” Breeding and his wife, Gladys, and their children were dining at Evaroni’s in celebration of her birthday, enjoying salads, pizza and spaghetti. “The spaghetti is my favorite,” he said. “There’s none better.” In 1968, Bill and Jean Evans opened their restaurant in a building beside the post office on Chestnut Street. Eventually, they moved to a new location on U.S. 60 in a building that had been a glass factory. The building grew along with the success of the restaurant that made its name on its unique pizza and variety of sub sandwiches. “The business has never slowed,” manager Reva Cremeans said, estimating they have about 2,000 customers each week. “Even when the economy has slowed, it’s never slowed down.” Cremeans, 54, has worked at Evaroni’s since she was 17. “My mom told me to find a job,” she said with a laugh. “I think she was tired of looking at my face.” Cremeans said she went to school with the Evans’ children but didn’t really know them; over the years, though, she has be- come close to them and they’ve become like family. “I didn’t come here to spend my life here but I did,” she said. It’s tough to say what the most popular food is. Cremeans said pizzas with pepperoni and sausage and slightly sweet sauce are the best in their category. Sandwiches and salads are popular, too. Her favorites are cheese pizza and sub sandwich. “I like to dip crackers in the spaghetti sauce,” she said. The eatery also has a drivethrough. Although there’s a spacious dining room with a fireplace, the drive-through has been there since Cremeans can remember. “It’s so busy in here with people coming to get seated and pick up their food, the drive-through gets people served faster,” she said. Service and tradition are important ingredients in the success of the business. Karen Collier, daughter of the owners, said at 82, her father still comes to work every day and stays until closing. Little has changed in the last 40-plus years, she said. “We still use the same namebrand ingredients,” Collier said. “Even when the prices went up, we still used the same brands.” Even the large customer base remains constant. Glen and Sharon Rice of Catlettsburg said they’ve come to Evaroni’s since the day the business opened. They ordered salads and pepperoni pizza on that first day. “We eat out three or more times a week,” Glen Rice said. “We know the people. It’s good food and it’s good service.” Mrs. Rice especially likes the service. “I like somebody to know what I like and if I change my mind, they still know what I like,” she said, noting they have friends from San Diego who want to stop at Evaroni’s as soon as they arrive in town for a visit. Cremeans said they’re not the only ones from out of town who enjoy their food. “A man in town ordered 10 pizzas to be sent to his son’s house out of town,” she said, adding the man is gospel singer Sandi Patty’s father-in-law. “He paid $300 for the pizzas and for us to ship them,” she said. “We had never done anything like that before and tried every way we could think of. We prebaked, used Seal-a-Meal, wrapped them in foil, packed them in dry ice and overnighted them.” It’s easier for Barry and Brenda Smith of Chesapeake, who have been loyal customers for about 37 years. They developed a taste for Evaroni’s when they lived in the Spring Valley area of Huntington and still travel to Kenova about once a month for a meal. Their choice for the day: salad and a sub. “I think they have really good food and the manager is really friendly,” Mr. Smith said. “She really makes you feel welcome.” Mrs. Smith agreed. “Their baked spaghetti is really good, too,” she said. “I haven’t eaten anything here I didn’t like.” LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

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