No. 10 -- Pizza Villa fire

Friday, December 30, 2011
Pizza Villa owner Rob Turpin stood where the roof-top seating for the new restaurant will be once construction is finished. The seating area will have railings and will overlook State Road 54. The flooring will consist of brick pavers, which are made out of 95 percent recycled tires. Turpin expects the new building to be open by the end of February. (By Sabrina Westfall)

Long-time Linton restaurant Pizza Villa caught fire in the early morning hours of February 23, and destroyed the rear of the building.

Linton Fire Chief Gary Tannehill said flames were showing in the southeast corner of the building when the fire department arrived, and even though the fire was contained quickly the kitchen area was a total loss.

Pizza Villa owner Rob Turpin said while the building was a loss, they would continue making pizza and had plans to rebuild the restaurant.

Almost a month to the day after the fire, Turpin started making pizza at Francisco De Borja, the downtown coffee shop he also owns.

The 2,500 pound oven was placed near the west wall in the coffee shop, and the kitchen was used for preparing pizza while the new building was being constructed.

Turpin said the projected re-opening of the new restaurant is set for the end of February.

The new building is being designed by a Spanish architect, Francisco de Borja Diez Munoz, who has been a close friend of the family since they hosted him as a foreign exchange student about 15 years ago, Turpin explained.

"Right after the fire, he called and said he wanted to design our new building," Turpin said of Borja. "He was excited to build in the states."

The previous building was a one-story, 1,500 square foot establishment, and the building Borja designed is two-stories, 4,800 square feet and has an outside seating area on the roof.

The first floor will have seating, and the second floor will have a bar and banquet-type area for receptions and other parties.

Turpin said while the designer is from outside the country, the building is being built by local contractor Sunrise Construction, 75 percent of material is purchased locally and it is financed through Bloomfield State Bank.

"The community has always been good to us, so we want to do everything local," Turpin noted.