Isabella’s Pizza and Wings in Austell

Carlos Bickers, the owner of Isabella's Pizza and Wings in front of his pizza oven (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)Carlos Bickers, the owner of Isabella's Pizza and Wings in front of his pizza oven (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Yesterday, Isabella’s Pizza and Wings, a new, locally owned pizza restaurant in downtown Austell held its “soft opening” with a Christmas Party. The restaurant is located at 2805 Veterans Memorial Highway directly across from the railroad crossing.

Isabella’s is named after the three-year-old daughter of the owner, Carlos Bickers.

Carlos Bickers and his daughter Isabella, for whom the restaurant is named (photo provided courtesy of Isabella's Pizza and Wings)

Carlos Bickers and his daughter Isabella, for whom the restaurant is named, with the first slice of pizza to come from their oven (photo provided courtesy of Isabella’s)

Bickers told the Courier that the restaurant had committed to the Austell Business Association’s Christmas party about a month ago.

“We got our health inspection about 1:30 yesterday,” he said. “We made our first pizza at 7 o’clock last night, and I just cut the guys loose and they did a really good job.  Everybody was very pleased.  We had about 70 people show up for the Christmas party.“

He said he had coordinated with Darrell Weaver of the City of Austell’s Community Development Department, and the ribbon-cutting and grand opening will be in January.

In the meantime the restaurant is now open for lunch only.

Bickers said, “Since we’re close to the holidays, we’re not at full capacity yet here. We’re going to pretty much take the month of December, and have a soft opening.”

“For the rest of December we’re just going to be Tuesday through Saturday, from roughly 11 to 2:30 or 3 for lunch.  And starting in January we’re going to do a ribbon-cutting and we’ll run a full seven-day schedule, opening at 11 a.m. and during the week close at 10, and on Friday and Saturday close at around 11,” he said.

One reason for the soft opening period is to train everyone on staff together, he said.

“They can all be trained the same. Everybody will be consistent, so you don’t come in on Tuesday at lunch and eat a pizza, then Saturday night it tastes different.”

Asked about his experience in the restaurant business, he said, “I had a bar and grill, a local bar and grill.  I was there for five-and-a-half years.  I just got tired of working all night long.  It’s hard to raise a three-year-old little girl, and you work ’til five in the morning.  So we sold that business, and we’re here now, so she’s with me most of the time.  It’s easy for her to come into a restaurant,  Obviously I’m not hip to taking her into a bar.”

Bickers described the restaurant’s menu: “Our menu is simple and to the point.  We’re shooting for high quality ingredients. We have a full bar, liquor, beer and wine.” he said.

He said the style of pizza is a Neapolitan blend.

“We’re going to make a traditional hand dough.  Traditional pizza sauce, mixed in with fresh mozzarella.”

The menu also includes pizzeria-style subs and salads, and chicken wings.

“A lot of people miss my chicken wings,” he said.  “When I had them at the other restaurant, once we left there I’ve had so many requests for more chicken wings it’s crazy. There was a guy last night who said ‘Oh, I’m glad you’re back in business so we can have more chicken wings’.”

“We’re just looking forward to bringing something family-oriented and high-quality down here to help the rejuvenation in the city,” Bickers said.