"CHEESY" PETE'S NOW OPEN AT RETENTION POND LAKE
by Charlie "Two Snacks" Roscoe
Ahoy, Mateys! There's a brand new place to eat pirate themed goodies in Olinoy, Illinois! Cheesy Pete's Pizza Palace is the fourth restaurant to open in the ship shaped building at the south end of Retention Pond Lake, home of northern Illinois' longest manmade "beachfront."
First it was The Lobster Boat, which sunk in only two months. Northern Illinois isn't known for it's "fresh catches." Then came Pirates of the Caribbean, but Caribbean cuisine was apparently too adventurous for your average Olinoyan, plus it tasted kinda funky. Frank's Fish & Chips followed and found a fairly large following for it's Fish Fry Fridays, but sadly almost no customers the rest of the week. Well all hands on deck folks, something different has sailed into town!
New owner and pizza maker Pete Pedersson said "It was supposed to just be "Pete's Pizza Palace" but there weren't enough rectangles across the top of the sign for that. And we had to cover the words "fish & chips" that were already there because we don't serve fish, not even anchovies, so we went with the word "cheesy." He said they also added dots to the unused spaces, "to sorta be like pepperonis."
The very day the sign went up someone called him "Cheesy Pete," and it stuck.
"I'm not fond of it, but we're embracing it. We may as well, I found out you can't really change this place into a palace from a pirate ship without spending a lot of money, you know? So we got that kid from the high school who drew their mascot working on a logo of Cheesy Pete the Pirate. And we also got that guy who plays Santa at the Olinoy Outlet Mall every year to dress up as Cheesy Pete and do the treasure hunts with the kids on the weekends."
Pete also insisted we mention there is NOT a fish fry on friday anymore. "Our biggest lines are on Friday night, but half of them are coming for the fish they used to get at Frank's. We put a giant pizza up on top of the boat that even lights up at night, but folks still try to order all-you-can-eat fish when they get to the counter. We use the freshest frozen ingredients, so our pies really are good. I'm keeping fingers crossed that'll carry us."
Featured at Cheesy Pete's every day around 3 PM, just for the kids, is a treasure hunt right out on the beach, whoever collects the most discarded booty (pirate lingo for "trash") wins a free pizza slice and a drink.
Will Cheesy Pete's Pizza Palace be the first to make a go of it at Retention Pond Lake? Hard to say, but I'll be setting sail for the south end to get my pizza sooner rather than later, in case they suddenly have to weigh anchor! And I promise to let you know whether it gets a "Yo-Ho-Ho!" or a Yo-Ho-Hum."