Left to Right: Kelsey Gluch, Kate Gooch, Cassidy Gluch, Danielle Stanford, Kim Phillips, Shelley Gluch and Lisa MacKenzie – the team behind Big Loop Pizza and Subs in Jordan Valley. (Submitted photo)
JORDAN VALLEY – In the two years to take Big Loop Pizza and Subs from idea to reality, Shelley Lee Gluch received lots of help.
Primarily, she leaned on family, especially during the pandemic. But she was impressed with the way the wider Jordan Valley community also rose to the occasion.
“I needed a posthole digger and a neighbor here in town said, ‘I’ll bring my tractor and posthole digger down and you can use it,’” she said. “There was always somebody who’d stop and say, ‘Oh, I can help you.’ You don’t get that in too many places.”
Big Loop, whose name is a reference to Jordan Valley’s annual rodeo, opened in March and operates Wednesday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s located “right dab” in Jordan Valley, at 603 Main Street.
“I’m right on the corner so if you don’t turn you’ll end up right in my building,” said Gluch, by way of directions. “And I’m the only restaurant in town!”
The menu includes the titular pizza and sandwiches as well as desserts. Gluch is planning to obtain a liquor license and add appetizers to the menu.
“Everything’s baked fresh everyday, and that’s the way we’re gonna keep it,” Gluch said. “I had a guy come in from Alaska the other day who said it was the best sub he’d eaten since 1975 in New York.”
Gluch said that a primary inspiration for the idea to start a restaurant had been hearing the “old-timers” reminisce about what it had been like to go to town once a month and socialize. But before Big Loop opened, this small ranching community didn’t have a single active restaurant.
And during the pandemic, opportunities for social time were even more scarce.
“Of course everything in Jordan Valley is old,” Gluch said. “That’s why we needed a new restaurant.”
The pandemic hit when Gluch was in the middle of constructing the building where Big Loop is now housed. Covid made finding contractors to finish the work nearly impossible, so Gluch and her son did most of it themselves. With construction finished, the restaurant now boasts a full patio and a back lot where Gluch plans to host barbecues, the occasional live band, and a monthly “shindig, to bring Jordan Valley back,” she said.
This is Gluch’s first time working in the restaurant industry. Her recent experience is mostly in ranching. But Gluch said she has talented cooks in the kitchen.
“It’s an extremely small workforce here,” she said, referring to her staff of four. “I’m very fortunate. The people I have make this restaurant fantastic.”
A grand opening is being planned for June.
News tip? Contact reporter Liliana Frankel at [email protected] or 267-981-5577.
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