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.
Since the late 1960s, business ‘has never
slowed’ for popular Evaroni’s in Kenova
By LEE WARD
Tiny Breeding of Chesapeake has a long
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
Breeding and his wife, Gladys,
and their children were dining at
Evaroni’s in celebration of her
birthday, enjoying salads, pizza
“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
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
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
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
“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
“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
“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
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