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movers and shakers: mikey’s late night slice

Columbus’ only late night pizza serves up slices with a wink.

With beginnings in a self-described “shack,” Mikey Sorboro’s namesake opened its doors in July of 2009 and never looked back. This first incarnation sits conveniently tucked in the lot below his Short North apartment. It quickly sprung into six more locations from Clintonville to Grandview (and everywhere between if Mikey’s two pizza trucks have anything to say about it). Satisfying hungry night owls with brazen offerings like Cheezus Crust and the infamous Slut Sauce, Mikey’s isn’t your average late night.

RDP: How did Mikey’s Late Night Slice get started?

I owned a bunch of pedicabs around here, and just from riding those bike taxis, you’d constantly hear from the people riding in your cab, “Take me to food. Where’s the pizza?” And I’d say, “I don’t know…where is the pizza?”

I’ve been living up here above what’s now the Short North location going on ten years, and that shack had always been empty. It was an office for the used car lot that used to occupy that lot. So I asked the landlord if he minded if I did something with it. He laughed and said, “Have fun, buddy. Knock yourself out.”

We did everything by hand, opened a few months later, and it was pretty much a hit from the start. Now we have three shops, two trucks and the Newport and the LC during events.

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rdp: can you describe your restaurant concept?

Sassy and irreverent late night pizza by the slice.

rdp: what do you think makes your restaurant successful?

I do think the pizza is surprisingly good. Most people wouldn’t expect decent pizza to come out of a truck or a concession stand or our quirky little shops. That’s really important, but I think it’s also the attitude and the destination-style places that we have. For example, if you have a friend come in town, where do you need to take them? That’s really important to me: finding and developing destinations.

I think if you make people laugh a little bit and have a couple tongue-in-cheek jabs, it’s almost like inside jokes that everyone’s in on. The attitude came from my awareness that people love to be harassed, but with a smile. I used to work at Dick’s Last Resort in Myrtle Beach, and it taught me how edgy you can be and that people will really latch onto it.

rdp: what made you choose rdp as your foodservice provider?

I like their products and it’s always nice to be accessible to the owners. I even grew up with our food rep in Akron. The company will bend over backwards for you. They’re local, so it’s nice to have all the money we pay go back into a local company.

rdp: can you point to an occasion where rdp really went above and beyond?

They do it all the time – any time we need something. We have special dough, to the point where they pretty much private labeled a Mikey’s Late Night Slice dough for us. I know if we ever had a special request, they would do whatever is was their power to make it happen.

rdp: how do you see your business growing in the future?

We’re looking at franchising in a year or so. We also have a bar opening downstairs in the spring. This is an old [Independent Order of] Odd Fellows building, [once the largest fraternal orders in the US]. So the bar will be called Odd Fellows, after this building. We’ll be serving Mikey’s pizza, but we’re also throwing around a concept or two for the kitchen.

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rdp: what drives you?

It’s a very ripe climate in Columbus right now for good ideas. If you have a good idea it’s very easy to execute. It’s almost an “if you build it they will come” atmosphere, which is very cool for entrepreneurs. It’s easy to go to other cities, gather great ideas, and bring them back here.

rdp: what else makes columbus unique?

Columbus is trying to form an identity. I think it’s trying really hard to shed that ‘cowtown’ image, and it’s succeeding. We were just named one of the most intelligent cities in the country and a fashion hub. Columbus is growing into itself, it really is, and that’s exciting to see.

Be our next Mover and Shaker

At RDP, stories like Mikey’s are our bread and butter. If you want to learn how you can be our next featured customer, get in touch with RDP today.

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