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Shakespeare's Plans to Stick to its Roots in Temporary Downtown Location

Shakespeare’s Pizza is moving into its temporary Eighth Street location this week, and workers are modeling the restaurant after the original as closely as they can. The popular downtown restaurant closed its doors on Monday morning and employees are working on recreating the familiar atmosphere for customers.

General Manager Toby Epstein says workers brought in all the signs from the original restaurant and some tables and booths. They painted interior walls to match the original and are recreating the area where customers watch chefs make pizza.

“This is very temporary and I think we’re having fun with it,” said Epstein about moving to the new location. “If we keep a good attitude about it, I think the customers will enjoy it as well.”

Shakespeare’s customer Ericka Johnson says the restaurant has a sense of nostalgia for Columbia residents and former MU students. She wants the new location to have the same feel to it.

“It’s kind of a symbol of downtown and a source of pride for residents,” said Johnson. “I would hope the new location would be somewhat similar.”

Epstein says customers will definitely feel the Shakespeare’s ambiance in its temporary location. He said he isn’t worried about the move affecting business.

“What makes Shakespeare’s the most is the people and the pizza, not the box that we live in,” said Epstein.