Bourbonnais: A pizza kingdom with no clear king

By Samuel Cullado

Staff Writer

Do a lap around Olivet’s hometown, and you’ll notice a common theme:  pizza places.

Bourbonnais has its share of eating establishments, but  the pizza business has far outdone the rest, to the point that establishments such as Pizza Pan are closing.

Abe Abraham, owner of Pizza Pan located in Bourbonnais, was no stranger to anyone who visited his establishment.  “He was a very friendly guy,” senior Bradley Speakman said.  “He handed out his phone number–his personal phone number–and said ‘tell your friends about us!’”  Unfortunately, that was three years ago, and the number has been lost, much like restaurant’s business.

So why was Pizza Pan the first to go, with more pizza places opening, such as Rosati’s near Dunkin’ Donuts in Bourbonnais?  Even at Beef O’Brady’s–typically a sandwich joint–pizzas are now on the menu.

Because pizza is so prevalent in this college town, corporations have moved in on the pizza market. “What’s best are the mom and pop places,” senior Kurt Arnold said. “But you don’t see those so much anymore.  So when you can’t have that, go for atmosphere and quality.”

Quality is a sticking point for students.  “I didn’t like Pizza Pan because the crust was too soggy,” Arnold said.  “[Pizza Pan] had too much crust,” junior Madison Caise criticized.

While Pizza Pan’s pizza was cheap, it did not meet students’ expectations.  “You need that right balance between cheap pizza and [poor quality] pizza,” Speakman said. “Pizza Pan didn’t perfect that, but Little Caesar’s, for how bad it is, is quick, simple and slightly better.”

Allen agreed,”Little Caesars is five bucks, takes tiger dollars and is accessible to boot. I didn’t eat at Pizza Pan much, because it didn’t take tiger dollars.”

Students care about their pizza’s affordability, quality and accessibility. When people want their pizza, they want it cheap, and they want it quickly.

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