Power lunch

Civic leaders joined the crowd that gathered at Henderson’s Pizza Inn on Thursday to help celebrate the restaurant’s reopening after an eight-week renovation. Shown, clockwise from left, are Mayor Eddie Ellington, Fire Chief Steve Cordell, Ronald Bennett of Variety Wholesalers, Sheriff Curtis Brame, Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce President Michele Burgess, Angie Jacobs with Carolina Snacks and City Manager Terrell Blackmon.

HENDERSON — On Thursday, Henderson’s Pizza Inn held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its reopening after having closed eight weeks for remodeling.

After the ceremony the restaurant opened for business debuting its renovations, which addressed the ceiling, all of the booths, the bathrooms, the kitchen, the bar and the painting of the walls.

Pizza Inn has been a part of the Henderson community for 41 years, opening in 1980. Community leaders such as Mayor Eddie Ellington, Sheriff Curtis Brame, City Manager Terrell Blackmon, members of the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce and more gathered to celebrate the reopening, and share memories of their own experiences there.

The project initially just encompassed repairs, but owners Peg and Ben McLean decided to renovate the entire restaurant.

“They were super dedicated to the renovations and I thought that was really sweet because [of] Peg, our owner, and a tribute to Mr. Copplen Sr., her father,” said Heather Hicks, supervisor of Pizza Inn. “She told me it was her father’s wish for Pizza Inn to be taken care of and I think she has done her daddy very proud.”

Original owner Ed Copplen Sr. died last December.

Hicks and General Manager Randy Poythress said surviving the fallout of COVID-19 was challenging for the business, but they continued to push through by finding new ways to attract customers.

Poythress joined the Pizza Inn in 1996 and has been with the restaurant since.

“As far as the future, I hope at some point we’ll add another dining room, the business will continue to grow, and we can build a stronger presence in the community,” said Poythress.

Poythress says he has no plans on leaving Pizza Inn anytime soon.

“They’ll probably tote me out in a pine box,” he quipped.