© 2024 University of Missouri - KBIA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

And The Walls Came Tumbling Down

Credit Paxton DiBlasi / KBIA
A backhoe tears into the north side of Shakespeare's Pizza Wednesday morning.

  Demolition crews arrived on site early this morning to begin work on the Downtown Shakespeare’s Pizza location. A crowd of local residents and journalists gathered and watch the process unfold.

Members of the community shared stories of their memories from the pizza joint. Stevi Ferguson and her two year-old son, Evan came out to watch the crews work.  Ferguson reminisced about her time in the restaurant, but her son was far more excited about the tractors and big trucks.

“When we have friends and family from out of town this is kind of a location to show off Columbia. Our friends who have moved away always want to meet back at an old spot,” Ferguson said. “It’s a little more emotional than I thought it would be.”

Manager Kurt Mirtsching was on site to watch a building be demolished that he spent his adult life committed to. He began working in the restaurant at 19 years-old as a delivery boy. His favorite memory from the facility changed his life.               

“I was a new manager, and this really good-looking walked in the front door,” Mirtsching said. “[The staff] came and got me, and they said she wants to talk to you. She wanted a job. So, we hired her as a delivery girl. And, then I married her, and we just celebrated our 31st anniversary.”

The Shakespeare’s Pizza on 9th and Elm Street has been given a new temporary home across the parking lot. “Temp-Speare’s Pizza”, as Mirtsching put it, is the “same party in a new box.”

“The box is just the box that the party came in. it’s the party that Columbia really likes. Of course, it’s that building that you associate that party with, but really it’s the memories that are made inside. It’s the pizzas people have had, and it’s the fun times people have had inside with their friends,” Mirtsching said.

Shakespeare’s is set to reopen is August 2016 in the new building at 9th and Elm Streets. Mirtsching said the interior will be the same as it was before the construction. They will use the same floor plan and hang their signs in the same locations.

Shakespeare’s Pizza has signed a 50 year lease following the new building being opened.

Related Content