Simple Simon’s about ready to say hello
The Simple Simon's set to open in Lexington Plaza should be familiar to those who have visited restaurants in the chain. But there's one big difference.
"This will be the biggest store in the franchise," said Jeff Burris, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Kelli.
Alert De Soto residents have been aware of impending opening of the eatery for more than a month from the "coming soon" sign in front of its Lexington Plaza site. This week, Burris moved two pizza delivery cars to the front of the lot to send a further message of the store's opening, which should happen Monday.
Burris, who owns a Simple Simon's in Bonner Springs and opened and owned "nine to 10" Simple Simons in other Kansas communities, said the De Soto restaurant's 4,500 square-foot size contributed to its somewhat delayed opening.
The advanced notice of opening worked out in one way, Burris said. More than 100 people have applied for the 30 to 40 full- and part-time jobs Simple Simon's will bring to De Soto.
Burris came to De Soto through friendship.
"I've known Tim Fisher for eight to 10 years," Burris said of Lexington Plaza's co-owner. "He told me he had something open, and it worked out.
"I feel there's a need here for a pizza of our price and quality."
The Lexington Plaza location was ideal for the business because of the traffic on Lexington Avenue and its central location for delivery, Burris said. It has had another advantage for the restaurant aimed at family dining, he said.
"We're next to the movie store (Couch Potato Video)," he said. "That's a good fit. We're a family-orientated store."
The restaurant's relatively large size allowed Burris to install a game room. It would be equipped with video games, pool table and a "little kids corner" where younger children can entertain themselves at small tables equipped with building blocks and other toys and games, he said.
The added space and the game room should make Simple Simon's an inviting place for parties, Burris said.
Just as its space was a bit larger than the typical Simple Simon's, so was the menu, Burris said. The menu started with the 15 specialty varieties of pizza, he said. Hot sandwiches and a salad bar will also be available at all hours it's open.
A daily lunch buffet would include pizza, pasta dishes like stromboli and calzone would be offered from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 1 p.m. Sundays. For those looking for something other than Italian food, the noon buffet would also be a hot-potato bar in winter and a regular taco bar.
"Once and awhile, we'll have ribs," Burris said.
The buffet would also be open from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, a scheduled that could be expanded to Saturday evenings, Burris said.
The store's hours will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.