Owner puts John’s Pizza up for sale

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

A bit of Ridgecrest history is on the market. John’s Pizza, located at 348 W. Ridgecrest Blvd. for the last 40 years, is now up for sale.

Owner Nick Young said the decision was difficult. “We owe people money. We have not been able to pay people who need to be paid,” he said. “We have the responsibility to take care of people who took care of us.

“We’re in the position where we have to make a move. Everyone’s been very, very patient and understanding with us. Integrity is important to us. That’s part of the big picture.”

With the current economic downturn, Young said, he and his wife simply can’t continue to keep the business going, so they’re offering it for sale.

During the sale John’s Pizza will continue to be open for business. “We still need customers,” said Young.“John’s Pizza has been here 40 years, and the community loves it. We’re just not as busy as we have been in the past.”

He said the business has great potential. “This could be a great opportunity for someone to come in and put their own stamp on it. It’s priced at a price you may never see again. It needs someone with a vision. I wish I had the resources to do it, but I just don’t.

“This was a really hard decision for me and my wife. We really wrestled with it. John’s is unique and it has history. It would put a big lump in your stomach if there was no John’s anymore. It’s a great opportunity for someone to get involved in something that is such a big deal in our town.”

Young and his wife were both born in Ridgecrest, as were their children. He emphasized that they are not leaving.

“We love where we live and we love John’s Pizza but we’re at that time where we feel we have to regroup. The economy is not really strong right now.”

He described the restaurant as having “12,000 square feet, the biggest banquet room in town, the only arcade in town and the only kids’ party room in town.”

He went on to say that it takes a lot of money to keep that all up. “We know it’s not perfect, but we work very hard to keep it going so people have that venue to go to. We work as hard as we can with what we have. We still have to pay our employees and keep the place running. It will be a great investment for somebody.

“We’ll be OK — we live in a great town.”

John’s Pizza was established by John Parlet in 1972. Since then the restaurant was owned for a while by Glen Covert.

The Youngs bought the business in 1998. Two other businesses of theirs, Nickoletti’s Pizza and Nick-oletti’s Café, incurred part of the debt load.

Nickoletti’s Pizza closed in 2012, and Nickoletti’s Café was sold and is now operating under a different name by a different owner.

Young invited interested buyers to call him at 760-677-1053.

Story First Published: 2013-01-09