By Sarah Carlson, Arts Editor
Abilene residents have two new options for dining: T.C. Luigi’s Pizza and Oscar’s Restaurant, both of which opened in November.
T.C. Luigi’s serves New York-style pizza as well as Greek and Mediterranean food, the owner of the franchise being from Greece. Greg Bondick, along with his wife, Lynnette, bought into the Arizona franchise and opened their restaurant at 4001 John Knox Blvd. near Target.
Bondick owned a local Pizza Inn and said he has been in the restaurant and pizza business for many years. He found the Web site for Luigi’s while he was searching for franchise opportunities and said he couldn’t pass it up. He said the traditional New York pizza’s crust is thin and crispy but still foldable, and they also offer a deep-dish pizza.
“We’re just ordinary pizza at an ordinary price,” Bondick said. “That’s our motto.”
He said the prices are competitive, business is doing well, and even though Luigi’s doesn’t currently offer any student specials, it has several lunch specials he thinks students will like.
T.C. Luigi’s is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekends and delivers all over Abilene.
For something closer to campus, Oscar’s Restaurant offers a variety of food ranging from Mexican dishes, breakfast burritos, rib-eye steak, cheeseburgers and what owner Oscar Abila calls “the best chicken fried steak you’ve ever eaten.”
Abila said this specialty is made from scratch, and customers should be prepared to wait about five minutes more for their chicken fried steak to arrive.
The restaurant opened before Thanksgiving, and Abila said the holidays didn’t help business pick up as much as he had hoped. He said he remains optimistic, however, and he wants ACU students to take advantage of Oscar’s proximity to campus. Located at 1665 Highway 351, heading east on Ambler past Interstate 20, Abila said he often sees students running by and is willing to offer them free glasses of water if they come through the drive-thru. Students also can receive either a free drink or a 10 percent discount off their meal with their student ID.
“You can just chill out here and eat-it’s a cool place,” Abila said. “We’re so close, why wouldn’t you want to come try it?”
Oscar’s is open 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day except Sunday, when it opens at 10 a.m. He said the restaurant has a large dining area and kitchen, plenty of parking spaces, and pool tables and arcade games. Abila built the restaurant himself and is proud of its features, right down to the women’s bathroom, which he said is so beautiful “you would want to come live in there.”
Abila is from Haskell and said he took a gamble at the restaurant business by opening Oscar’s, something he has always wanted to do.
“Everybody’s got their dream, right?” Abila said. “I just jumped into it. I’m crossing the river here, I’m right in the middle, and either I swim back or swim forward-it’s the same distance.
“I took a year and a half to build this place, but I’m here.”