The lot that will house Big Loop Pizza and Subs once held the local post office, photographed after being hit by a semi-truck. (Photos by Marie Clayton)
JORDAN VALLEY — Starting this fall, dining options for date night will double for Jordan Valley residents.
Big Loop Pizza and Subs is slated to open in October and will be the town’s second restaurant, according to owner Shelley Gluch.
“If you want something other than burgers and chicken strips, here you go,” Jordan Valley Recorder Anne Stephens said.
When Gluch briefly worked as a server at JV Café, the only other restaurant in Jordan Valley, she heard requests for pizza and longing for a nearby Subway. If Jordan Valley residents wanted those luxuries, they would have to drive over 170 miles roundtrip.
[ KEEP YOUR LOCAL NEWS STRONG - SUBSCRIBE ]
“Well heck,” Gluch thought, she could meet that demand. Thus, the idea for a pizza and sandwich shop was born.
“It was just listening to what people wanted,” Gluch said.
While Gluch is no restaurateur – her family owns and works on a ranch in the area – her past experiences made the business venture possible.
“I’m a jack of all trades,” she said. Growing up in Ontario, Gluch’s mother was a real estate agent and her father was a contractor. Between learning about sales and construction machinery, she had the confidence and know-how to make the restaurant a reality.
Gluch made sure she had the key players – the cook and servers – on board before she moved forward. Because there is only one restaurant in town, the locals are all very competent in the kitchen. Gluch had to make sure she had a cook who could offer something new.
“That’s why everything is going to be homemade,” Gluch said.
She started looking for affordable properties in the area and found the lot where Telleria’s Market once stood. The building, which sat on the edge of a curved road, had been hit multiple times by trucks missing the turn while passing through the town.
“That store was in pretty poor shape,” Stephens said. “The last (crash) did so much damage there was no saving it.”
The old building was torn down and cleared so Gluch and her team can pour the foundation. One of the ways Gluch has been able to keep costs down is by using her family’s construction equipment.
“They’ve been a vital key,” Gluch said.
At 1,800 square feet, the restaurant will be smaller than the original building and set back 20 feet from the road.
Gluch is also planning to put in concrete posts.
“If they do hit it, it will hurt them, not the people in the restaurant,” Gluch said.
Big Loop Pizza and Subs, named after the annual rodeo in Jordan Valley, will also have a drive-thru for travelers who don’t have time to stop.
“The traffic coming from California is insane,” Gluch said, so the restaurant will be a place with Wi-Fi for people to “hang out in between civilization.”
“It’s going to be a nice attraction for the city,” Stephens said. There are also talks of a visitor’s center opening kitty-corner to the new restaurant.
Gluch said the restaurant would be decorated with old western themed décor that honors the town’s history. The building Gluch had to tear down to build the restaurant had been in the community for a long time, at one point serving as the post office.
“Retaining the history of Jordan Valley is important, I just can’t have an old building,” Gluch said. She found the old post office sign which she hopes to hang in the restaurant.
Talking about the new restaurant, Gluch makes a point of thanking the locals for their “phenomenal” support and advice.
“Without them, things would not have went as well as they have,” she said. “It takes an army to do this.”
Have a news tip? Reporter Isabella Garcia: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.
SUBSCRIBE TO HELP PRODUCE VITAL REPORTING -- For $5 a month, you get breaking news alerts, emailed newsletters and around-the-clock access to our stories. We depend on subscribers to pay for in-depth, accurate news produced by a professional and highly trained staff. Help us grow and get better with your subscription. Sign up HERE.