Sunny’s Pizzeria sets opening date

Dec. 5, 2019

College-neighborhood restaurant Sunny’s Pizzeria has set its opening date.

The new pizza shop, nestled between the University of Sioux Falls and Augustana University campuses, plans to start serving customers Dec. 16.

Owner Jon Oppold is finalizing the menu and working to hire four or five part-time employees. He has spent the past couple of months working with the help of his wife, Katy, and other relatives and friends to renovate the building at 1801 S. Walts Ave., on the corner of 26th Street.

The pizzas will come in one size with one type of crust, which is thin.

“It’ll be all about the toppings essentially. We’ll have two different styles of pizzas. We have the specialty list, which we call our “Favs,” and then we’ll also have what we call the “Basics,” which will have a build-your-own component, where essentially you start with a cheese pizza and it’s so much per topping that you add on.”

Oppold said he plans to start with a dozen specialty pizzas.

“Our flagship pizza that we’re going to sell that’s kind of the big, outside-of-the-box one is a pepperoni pizza with pepperoni pizza rolls on it. … We’re going to try to do a buffalo chicken pizza, a chicken bacon ranch. I like a classic bacon cheeseburger with pickles. Not a lot of places make it with the pickles anymore, and that was one of my favorites growing up.”

He’s exploring a gluten-free option for the crust.

Customers will order at the counter.

“It’ll be like a Subway-type of experience because the kitchen is completely exposed. You can see people cook, and you can watch them put your pizza together.”

Sunny’s Pizzeria will use TurboChef ovens, which can bake a pizza in 2 ½ minutes.

There’s seating for 24, and a parking lot behind the restaurant can hold 13 vehicles.

Oppold said the pizzeria likely will serve Coke products, and he’ll have four local craft beers on tap.

“We’re really trying to cultivate this as kind of a local place, local beers. We’re for sure doing only local tap beer. We’ve partnered up with Obscure Brewing in town. They purchased all of our glassware and contributed to the Founders Club. … We’ll always have Obscure on one tap all the time just because they’ve been tremendous with helping us with things.”

Oppold bought a keg from Severance Brewing Co. ahead of time so he could test out hooking up the tap lines. Remedy Brewing Co. has reached out, and Oppold plans to work with other local brewers too.

Neighborhood residents won’t have to worry about Sunny’s Pizzeria being a college bar, though, Oppold said.

“When they come and see the place now, you look at the aesthetics and it’s a restaurant, it’s not a bar. It’s not dark.”

Eventually, Sunny’s Pizzeria will host events such as trivia nights, video game tournaments and watch parties for USF and Augustana basketball games when they’re on the road, Oppold said. There are four TVS, two video games, a pinball machine and board games.

“We want to be a place where college kids want to come and hang out, but then also people from the neighborhood can come.”

The restaurant will be family-friendly and dog-friendly, too, with dog treats in a canister on the counter. The restaurant is named in honor of the Oppolds’ French bulldog, Sunny.

Sunny will be there for a meet-and-greet during the grand opening. A date hasn’t been set, but it might be the Friday of opening week, Oppold said.

Hours will be “11 a.m. to close, but we can stay open as late as midnight,” Oppold said. “We will close earlier depending on how busy it gets. I would say around 9 or 10 some nights.”

Sunny’s Pizzeria has a three-year lease on the building with an option for an additional two years.

“We’re looking forward to hopefully staying here for quite a while.”

Owner details plans for neighborhood pizza shop

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Sunny’s Pizzeria sets opening date

The new pizza shop, nestled between the Augustana and University of Sioux Falls campuses, will start serving customers later this month.

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