Longtime McKenzie River pizza restaurant "Ike's" to reopen

Longtime McKenzie River pizza restaurant "Ike's" to reopen

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Updated: 5/03/2012 9:42 am
VIDA, Ore. (KMTR) -- After closing its doors for the first time in more than 30 years, good news for a longtime pizza restaurant along the McKenzie River.

Under new ownership, Ike’s Lakeside Pizza near Vida will reopen.

If you've driven highway 126 between Springfield and Central Oregon, you've likely seen “Ike's Pizza” and the business’ giant yellow sign. The pizza shop has been a mainstay for about 35 years in the Vida – McKenzie River community.

So when the restaurant shut its doors on February 1st, 2012, many in the local community were surprised.

The shop is now planning a reopening on May 10th, 2012.

Betty Koehler just re-purchased the building and property to make it happen. In the last several years, Betty has concentrated her efforts on running Sweety’s, a yogurt shop in downtown Springfield.

Betty first bought Ike’s in 1992 from its original owners. After 14 years in business, Koehler sold it to a Vida-area owner in 2005 with the intention that the business would keep going.

Things didn’t work out though, and the shop closed in February 2012.

Betty says she couldn't let the restaurant die.

“It's like a gathering place for the community, and the community is so supportive,” says Koehler.

“That's why we're here is because of the community, that's the only reason why,” says Koehler.

Vida-area residents Debby Strecker and Tom Burden are now leasing Ike's and will manage the restaurant.

“We know a lot of the locals and our locals support us,” says Strecker.

“It worked before and we believe it will work again,” says Burden.

Strecker and Burden say the plan is to go “back to the basics,” cooking pizza, broasting chicken and potatoes, also re-opening the bar section of the restaurant.

Community members have also helped bring the restaurant together, including the McKenzie River community chapter of the Lions Club. Volunteers from the club helped clean the property over the last few months, towing out several truck loads of debris.
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