Tenino welcomes new Pizza Mia restaurant to Stone City

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By Daniel Warn / dan@chronline.com

Tenino added another restaurant to his bounty on Monday, thanks to Miriam Garcia and her husband Jose Villegas, who opened Pizza Mia.

On Monday, Garcia and Villegas held a grand opening and ribbon cutting for Pizza Mia, which is their second location in town. The new restaurant is located at 324 Sussex Ave. W., right next to their Mexican restaurant, Los Compadres.

The couple have three daughters together and have been an integral part of Tenino for five years. They left Shelton to open Los Compadres in Stone City.

Their eldest daughter, 13, helps out at the Mexican restaurant and will also work serving the public at Pizza Mia with her extended family.

It was kids who inspired the creation of Pizza Mia, Garcia told The Chronicle.

“(Villegas) has always worked in kitchens, so we started five years ago with our Mexican restaurant,” Garcia said. “And then one day he said, ‘You know, I can make pizza’ – because the kids wanted pizza – and then he said, ‘I’ll make you pizza.’ said, ‘You don’t know how to make pizza’, and he was like, ‘Yeah, I used to work in a pizzeria.’ »

In all, Villegas has 17 years of experience in the food industry. Thanks to her children and her previous experience, Pizza Mia was born.

Garcia and Villegas searched for a suitable location in Tenino for the fledgling business idea for a few years. This search ended when the nearby store in Los Compadres opened. The same day the list went live, restaurateurs “picked it up,” Garcia said.

Pizza Mia serves traditional Italian pasta dishes and also hot wings, but the main course is pizzas, to which Garcia and Villegas have added a Mexican twist.

Los Compadres’ popular Mexican version of a Philly cheesesteak has been given a second life as a specialty pizza, but it’s not the best-selling on opening day, Garcia said. .

“Yesterday was the grand opening and the most popular pizza was the Al Pastor,” Garcia said Tuesday. “People loved it.”

Al pastor is a traditional Mexican taco of meat marinated in pineapple.

There are also specialty pizzas that have a more Italian twist, such as Chicken Alfredo and Chicken Carbonara pizzas.

If Monday’s grand opening is any indicator, Pizza Mia’s culinary creations will be popular.

“Yesterday we ran out of dough,” Garcia said on Tuesday. “In seven hours, we had already sold 100 pizzas. It was crazy. We had to close for the day, about three hours in advance, as we weren’t anticipating so much support.

Starting soon, Pizza Mia will begin offering daily specials, Garcia said.

“We have so many pizzas that aren’t on the menu, so we reserve them for specials,” she said.

George Sharp, director of the Tenino Creative District, said the restaurant adds creativity to Tenino’s palate.

“Pizza Mia has proven to be creative with their menu and will be a wonderful culinary addition to our Tenino Creative District,” said Sharp.

Cheryl Pearce, president of the Tenino Area Chamber of Commerce, said she is hosting another restaurant in the heart of Tenino.

“We are pleased to have another business open and to be part of downtown Tenino,” Pearce said in a statement to The Chronicle. “They will help us create a critical mass of things to experience to attract visitors to our community, as well as for the enjoyment of our residents.”

For Garcia, the work has only just begun.

“We will try to provide the best pizza and the best service possible, and we appreciate the people of Tenino so much,” she said.

Pizza Mia is open from noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and from noon to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.

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