(Springfield, Il)...... Every day for over 40 years the lights turned on and the doors opened for business at Godfather's Pizza in Pekin. 40 years of memories and traditions nearly came to an end as Godfather's Pizza in Pekin was going to go dark on May 25, 2014.
Godfather's Pizza located inside Market Square is the only Godfather's Pizza Corporate store left in Central Illinois. The corporation based in Omaha, Nebraska was making plans to close the store location at the end of this month. However, a deal was struck and the tradition will continue in Pekin and several jobs have been saved.
Springfield, Illinois Based Franchise owners Mike Monseur and John Leskovisek bought the Pekin location and plan to keep it open. The two own and operate the Godfather's Pizza locations in Springfield, Chatham and Decatur Illinois.
"It was a no brainer for us, Godfather's Pizza has been part of the Pekin Community for over 4 decades. We just couldn't let it close down" Monseur said.
Monseur and Leskovisek have a successful track record of taking tired locations and turning them around into a thriving business. " Our plan is to expand in Pekin" Leskovisek added. The two operators plan to expand operations into not only a Godfather's Pizza location but as an on and off site catering operation which has gained national attention at their other Central Illinois locations.
Monseur and Leskovisek's store locations have been the choice of many visiting celebrities and dignitaries. Their catering resume includes serving the staff and crew of Air Force One when the President travels to Illinois. Mike and Johns Godfather's Pizza is the choice of many tour companies and other travel agencies from across the country and here at home. This has not only benefited their business, but also the other businesses in the communities they are located in by drawing increased business traffic to each market.
Monseur and Leskovisek say they will keep the 16 staff members of the current Pekin location and will most likely add to them. The two plan to continue with the buffet but want to expand it. They are in the process of obtaining their liquor license, and like all of their locations, will be offering a wide variety of beer and fine wine. Also, they are in the process of bringing one of their popular Penny Farthings Video Gaming Rooms to the Pekin Godfather's Pizza Location.
The two say they pride themselves on being part of a great staff, providing quality food, fantastic service and in a very clean and fun setting. "We've visited the Pekin location several times and met the general manager and most of the current staff. Simply put, we were impressed with the staff and look forward to making them part of our company." Monseur and Leskovisek stressed.
The new corporation formed under Monseur and Leskovisek takes over the Pekin location on May 26. Construction of the Penny Farthing's Video Gaming Room will begin immediately after the City of Pekin approves a liquor license. It is a very unique video gaming room located in all of Mike and John's Godfather's Pizza locations. The store will remain open during the expansion process.
Godfather's Pizza is located at 2111 Court Street in Market Square and offers dine-in, carry-out, delivery and catering. The expanded catering menu offers much more than pizza. Orders can be placed by calling (309) 347-3135 or online at www.godfathers.com.
John Leskovisek has been in the food service industry for most of his life. He played a key role in the opening of the Hucks Convenient stores in Illinois as well as over 46 Godfather's Pizza locations across the country soon after the movie was released. He was an executive with the William Wriggle Company and also co-owns J&M Family Fun and Food Inc, J&M Properties and now Pekin Pizza Company.
Mike Monseur specializes in customer service and public outreach. Monseur, a former local and national television news reporter/anchor, moved to Springfield, Illinois over ten years ago. He was the former spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation and is co-owner of J&M Family Fun and Food Inc., J&M Properties and now Pekin Pizza Company.
Monseur and Leskovisek formed several companies, two of which have taken corporate owned Godfather's Pizza locations and revitalized them and transformed them into thriving productive store locations offering quality job opportunities for the community they serve. Another location was a Springfield, Illinois landmark, the Famous Red Coach Inn. It now houses a popular high-end Mexican restaurant.
Both men say they plan to have a strong personal presence in the Pekin store location and look forward to being part of the Pekin community and meeting the customers that have kept the Pekin Godfather's Pizza location open for over 40 years.