Some Magnolia residents say they have not had pizza in over a year. Some consider that just plain wrong.
Which is why the original owners of Luigi’s Pizza & Pasta in Magnolia Village repossessed their previously sold restaurant, and are again serving their tried-and-true Italian cuisine.
“The announcement in January that we’re coming back went around like wild fire,” said Liza Serpanos, original co-owner of Luigis Pizza and Pasta. “We told one person on Facebook and all of a sudden all these people were coming to me: ‘We are so glad to have you back!’ And I’m like, ‘How did you know? I didn’t tell you!’”
“It was very flattering and we felt very loved and appreciated,” she said.
Christopher Serpanos, husband of Liza and co-owner, felt the same way.
“I didn’t realize how much they missed us,” he said. “A lot of hugs and kisses and welcome backs – it makes you feel good.”
The pair sold Luigi’s in January of 2011 to a couple from Alaska who had offered to buy the business. At the time, they were not considering selling the restaurant, but the deal was good and time was right.
“It was time to retire after 17 years. I thought I had enough work underneath my belt and had an offer that was enticing,” Christopher said. “I talked about it with my wife and decided to call it quits and move on.”
Not everyone in Magnolia was thrilled with the change, the couple said.
“They kept the name but they changed everything – the menu, the recipes, the whole setup,”Christopher noted.
The new Luigi’s restaurant ultimately did not succeed and the owners approached the Christopher and Liza about taking it back.
They said yes.
“Retirement wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be to begin with, so we’re happy to be back. It worked out well,” Liza said.
The couple started the restaurant in March of 1994. Liza said Luigi’s specialness lies in its unique community and family orientation. Neighbors get to know other neighbors, and over the 17 years, individuals and families journeyed through life together.
“We knew everyone, we watched their children grow up, they watched our children grow up,” Liza said. “Our kids used to come here and do their homework on the chef’s table.”
Since January, the couple has remodeled parts of the facility. They also updated their menu and obtained a liquor license so they will now have a limited-service bar.