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New pizza restaurant coming to Rugby

May 6, 2016
Bryce Berginski - Tribune Reporter , Pierce County Tribune

Rugby residents will soon see a new restaurant on Highway 2.

The building once occupied by Pizza Hut will house a new restaurant called "Big Pauly's", operated by Paul Urias, former general manager of the Wildcat Pizzeria in Williston.

Urias said the plan was to initially open last month, but he would like to open mid-May, or as soon as he receives his tax ID number and license, and work on the building is completed.

"There is still much to do and this restaurant will constantly evolve," Urias said. "It's a work in progress."

Urias said that once open the restaurant will start selling pizza for carryout and delivery, and will slowly start integrating new menu items, including pasta and fried chicken. Urias plans to hire as many employees as possible, and hopes to retain a minimum of 15 full and part-time employees.

Urias said he has been in the food and beverage industry for over 30 years. He spent 10 years as a cooking instructor with the Fresno Unified School District.

"I found that quite rewarding," Urias said.

Urias operated his first restaurant in California for over three years before the economic downturn, and at the same time operated a health food cafe in a total fitness gym. Taking advantage of opportunities presented by the oil boom, he moved to Williston. In three years he saved enough money to open a cafe in Ray.

Urias operated the restaurant for over a year until Dec. 31, 2012, when he was in a car accident that almost killed him.

After working various jobs, Urias saw another opportunity to open up a cafe in Wildrose, which he ran for over a year until activity slowed down.

Urias worked as the general manager at Wildcat Pizzeria for 7 months, until, "the slowdown finally caught up to that business as well."

Urias said that Rugby came on his radar while he was working in Williston. An Envision employee stopped in Wildcat Pizzeria to eat and said he should move to Rugby, as Rugby was "in need of a good pizza parlor." Soon after, Urias received a call from Job Development Authority Executive Director Joseph T. Pelt.

"He informed me of the vacancy at the old Pizza Hut location and after speaking with me for a short time, I realized I would make a good fit for the new location," Urias said.

Pizza Hut officially closed in September 2015.

 
 

 

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