Pizza Inn in Pikeville is about to get a new look, as the restaurant will open up a 1,400-square-foot expansion in early April.
The addition will add space for enough seating to accommodate 66 people, and will come with a salad bar and arcade room, owner Tom Vail said.
While Pikeville certainly has restaurants, it has not had a place where people can bring large groups -- sports teams, birthday parties and the like -- to enjoy food and games together.
The size of the space has earned it a nickname around town, even before it has been completed, Vail said.
"People have taken to calling it the Pikeville Convention Center," he said with a laugh.
The new addition, known as the Inn Room, cost around $125,000, Vail said, and includes a bathroom and waiting area where customers can sit while awaiting takeout orders. The arcade will be located in its own soundproofed room, with large windows facing the main seating area.
Pikeville's Pizza Inn is not a buffet like some others in the franchise, opting instead for a traditional menu and counter. To help with keeping pricing easy for large groups, the restaurant can create a menu specifically for the gathering ahead of time.
"They can work with me directly to figure out a menu that works for their guests," he said. "Nothing that's forced. The concept will be, we'll have pizza and a drink, lasagna and a drink, spaghetti and a drink, sub and drink, everything and a drink is a base, per-person price. And then you can add a one-trip salad bar, you can add desserts, you can add wings, and it still will be a per-person price."
That way, Vail said, one person does not necessarily have to be responsible for the entire tab of the group, and everyone knows how much the food will be before they get there.
"You bring a ball team up here after they play at Aycock, tell all the kids to bring six dollars and we'll have them pizza and a drink over there and you've got your own private place to enjoy a meal," he said.
The Inn Room will open in the second week of April, and Vail has already booked several groups for when it does. Booking the room is completely free of charge to anyone who is buying food at the restaurant, Vail said.
"I would do a room rental, if you are having some party and you don't want to eat with me, and just say 'I need a nice room,' I would do a room rental," he said. "But if they're having any type of party that they're going to take advantage of our food, the space is of no cost."
To speak to someone about reserving the Inn Room, call Pizza Inn at 919-709-4316.