TIPTON — There’s a new shack coming to town.
Pizza Shack, 311 E. Jefferson St., closed earlier this year after longtime owner Rich Brown retired and closed the restaurant, which had operated in Tipton for decades.
That was perfect timing for Brett Morrow and Jama Fernung, who both run restaurants in Cicero.
Morrow said they had already been to Tipton looking to start a new eatery in town when the Pizza Shack building came up for sale.
“Lo and behold, Rich decided to call it quits and it just made complete sense to take that building, which is massive, and turn it into what Tipton needs,” he said.
Now, the two restauranteurs are in the middle of completely renovating the 11,000-square-foot building into something new, but also familiar.
They’re calling the new eatery The Shack of Tipton.
Morrow said they’re keeping the salad and pizza buffets, which were the main draw for people when it was Pizza Shack, along with the crushed ice patrons have come to love.
But they’re also adding more menu items, including new Italian options and a full American menu with burgers, wraps and other traditional fare.
Beyond the menu, the two are also bringing a full-service bar and lounge to the restaurant, along with a large banquet area that should hold around 150 people. That space will also include a full bar for the events there.
Morrow said they also hope to renovate the 2,000-square-foot upstairs space into an adults-only bar where patrons can eat, get a drink and watch the game, but they’re currently waiting for the state to approve a permit to do the work.
“It’s a really, really cool space upstairs,” he said. “When I saw that, I got all excited.”
Morrow said that other renovations to the building will include reopening 13 large windows that had been covered up, and extending the ceilings to 18 feet. He said the décor and design of the inside space will have an industrial feel.
The restaurant is set to open early next year.
Morrow said the ultimate goal is to keep a Tipton pizza tradition alive, while bringing something new and exciting that will attract not only residents, but also out-of-towners to come visit and shop in town.
“If you’re eating in Tipton, you’re going to the Diana Theater or Urban Homestead or Horton’s,” he said. “You’re spending money in Tipton. It will hopefully be a win-win for everybody.”