Ted’s Pizza Palace received $10,000 facelift just in time for 50th anniversary

MENOMONIE, WI. Sept. 14, 2020 – Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), joined local leaders and the owners of Ted’s Pizza Palace in downtown Menomonie today to celebrate the official unveiling of the restaurant’s Main Street Makeover.

The restaurant, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is a well-known local dining destination owned by Jim and Kim Gounaikis. A downtown mainstay, the restaurant was selected in January as the winner of the makeover contest based on the business’s successful track record, clear community support and the potential to grow as a third generation of the family joins the business.

“Celebrating our 50th year in business is especially exciting with the Main Street Makeover win from WEDC,” Jim and Kim Gounaikis said in a statement. “We are so grateful to be chosen for this project and thrilled with how the makeover turned out. The design team was an absolute pleasure to work with. Their creativity, insightfulness and patience made the experience easy, fun and rewarding! We would like to thank all that made this dream a reality and look forward to sharing it for many years to come!”

A team made up of WEDC staff and professionals from Retailworks Inc. worked closely with the Gounaikis family and staff from Main Street Menomonie to develop the restaurant’s new look. The goal of the makeover was to update the interior of the restaurant to provide a better dining experience and redesign the storefront to make it easier for new visitors to Menomonie to discover the business.

The Main Street Makeover funds paid for a new awning and storefront tiles to enhance the restaurant’s façade, which was part of a larger renovation that also included new counters, drink coolers, booths, paint, interior and exterior signage, murals, carpets and marketing upgrades.

The unveiling, which was set for earlier this year, was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep customers and employees safe, the restaurant has adopted public health measures recommended by WEDC, including masking, social distancing, and take-out and delivery options.

“Ted’s Pizza Palace is a Menomonie institution,” said Secretary Hughes. “It’s great to see that, despite the challenges they’ve faced this year, they’ve shown the perseverance and ingenuity that are the hallmarks of a great Wisconsin business. We’re looking forward to another 50 years of great pizza and great service to the community.”

“Ted’s Pizza is a staple of Menomonie,” said Dustyn Dubuque, executive director of Main Street Menomonie. “The entire family at Ted’s is invested in our downtown, and they plan to call Menomonie home for generations to come. It is businesses like theirs that make the downtown a great place to dine and shop.”

Now in its fourth year, the Main Street Makeover Contest is an initiative of the Wisconsin Main Street Program, a comprehensive revitalization program overseen by WEDC and designed to promote the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional business districts in Wisconsin.

Communities selected to join the prestigious program receive the technical support and training needed to restore their Main Streets to centers of community activity and commerce. The Wisconsin Main Street Program, part of a nationwide program of the National Main Street Center, has been recognized nationally for its participation, initiatives and outcomes.

Since its inception in 1987, the Wisconsin Main Street Program has resulted in the creation of more than 2,800 new businesses and 15,000 new jobs. There are currently 34 Main Street communities in the program. For more information on the Wisconsin Main Street Program, visit wedc.org/MainStreet.

The 2018 Main Street Makeover winner was Annie’s Fountain City Café in downtown Fond du Lac. The 2019 makeover winner was Anthony’s 511 barber shop in downtown Watertown.