More than 40 full and part time jobs are ready in Rock Island. That's as Goombazz Big City Eatzz, 2704 18th Avenue, brings a fresh outlook to a shuttered Godfather's Pizza location.
The kitchen is a busy place there during the Monday lunch rush. This mom-and-pop eatery set up shop in October after lengthy renovations. Now, it's finding a piece of the action in Rock Island.
"We put a sign on our marquee outside, now hiring, for three days," recalled owner Brenda Brewer. "In three days, we had over 200 people apply, and we hired from the neighborhood."
That's why they're slicing into a giant pizza to mark its grand opening. Rock Island is an eager partner, providing a facade improvement rebate and $25,000 in a low interest loan to convert the closed building.
"People say to me, they thank me for opening up here," said owner Sal Cracco. "Rock Island needed something like this."
The locally-owned restaurant serves a variety of pizza, hot dogs, Italian beef and more.
This slice-of-life success story is creating jobs in a once-vacant building. It's also creating new economic development opportunities here in Rock Island.
Husband and wife team, Cracco and Brewer, know that the restaurant business is tough work. They each have other full time jobs. But they believe the time is right to take a chance.
"In Italian, a goombah is your friend or a pal," Cracco said. "Someone that always covers your back. We want everybody to be a friend here at Goombazz."
The restaurant is open six days a week, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and it's closed on Sunday.
"My heart is in it," Brewer concluded. "If you have a dream, I just believe you have to go for it."
At Goombazz Big City Eatzz, they're creating jobs and serving up success one slice at a time.