Pine Lake Pizza back in business

Published 8:19 pm Saturday, January 5, 2008

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – One of Jeff Harrell's goals after becoming the new owner of Pine Lake Pizza was to bring all of the original ingredients back.
"Pine Lake has a long history with Niles – 19 years. I always said that if I opened my own restaurant it would be a pizza place and here I am," Harrell said.
Harrell recently purchased Pine Lake, located at 114 N. Third St., from the original owner, Rich Moore, and hopes to take Pine Lake back to the way it used to be.
"Someone else owned it up until recently and changed the ingredients. We don't want that. Pine Lake offers authentic, Italian pizza," he said.
For that reason, Harrell spent two days in the kitchen with Moore, who taught him everything he needed to know about making the original Pine Lake Pizza.
"What makes it unique is the fact that all of our ingredients are fresh, all of our breads are made daily and all of our meat, such as hamburger, is cooked in our own ovens. Plus we have real mozzarella cheese, not just an imitation," Harrell explained.
Harrell, who is employed full time for an RV company in Elkhart, Ind. and part time for the Niles City Fire Department, said he hopes to get more involved with the community.
"We want to do fundraisers for schools and Little League programs in the area. Whatever we can do to help out, we will," he said.
Harrell, who was born and raised in Niles, said he is able to keep the prices of his pizzas down so customers do not have to worry about emptying their pockets.
"It's amazing how much you can actually spend on a pizza now," he said.
Harrell added that Pine Lake offers two pizza specials seven days a week and offers pizza by the slice from 5 to 8 p.m. They also offer personal sized pizzas.
Along with pizza, Pine Lake has garlic bread, subs and even foot-long hot dogs with "fresh baked buns. You can't find that anywhere else," he said.
Pine Lake delivers and also offers a dining room. Harrell said the feel of the restaurant is very family oriented, which was clear from his very own children being there.
"This is their favorite room in the restaurant," Harrell's wife, Christina, said while cleaning off an arcade game.
While Harrell hopes for the best in his new adventure, his plan is simple: "Make it another 19 years," he said.