Wild West Pizza & Grill, Lompoc, California
My location is a former Westside Pizza franchise that I purchased in 2013. I immediately changed it to Wild West Pizza. The Western theme fits the town as Lompoc has a rich Western history and our land lord was famed cowboy actor Stuart Whitman.
We offer dine in, takeout and delivery. Our motto is “There’s nothing tame about us.” We are known for off the wall wacky pizzas. Things like the Annie Oakley, made with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy; or The Dillinger, which is a dill pickle pizza. Or The Elote Mexican Street corn pizza.
Our most popular crust is a Deep Dish pan pizza, but we also offer a traditional hand-tossed pizza or a cracker thin and crispy pizza.
During your dining room closure, what changes have you made to the space?
When the pandemic hit we obviously had to close our dining room. I also made the decision then that we would eliminate our lunch buffet and salad bar once we could reopen. We have taken this down time as an opportunity to undergo a remodel. We started with concrete floors and now have ceramic tile that looks like rustic barn wood. The next step is adding a corrugated rusted metal wainscoting and barn wood paneling in the walls above that. Where the salad bar once sat, we are having a 12-foot bar built. We sell beer, wine and cocktails made from wine-based liquors.
We are essentially dividing the dining room in half. The back half will remain for eat in guests, seating about 25 to 30 people. The front half is being transformed into an old-fashioned general store. We will be selling all sorts of Western themed novelties, T-shirts, mugs, toys, old fashioned candy, decor and gift items, etc.
You’re in the process of changing your concept. Tell us what you are doing and why?
Seventy percent of our business has always been takeout and delivery. Not having enough dine in space has never been an issue. We are doing the change in order to monetize more of our square footage.
What is your customer base and what is the market like in your area?
We are a small bedroom community of about 40,000. We are also located next to a large Air Force Base, Vandenberg. Tourism is also strong here. The wine industry is thriving. Much of the movie Sideways was filmed in the area. Most of the pizzerias are mom and pops, although we have some of the large chains as well.