Forty years after first opening its doors and 15 years since its last remodeling, Hollister's Round Table Pizza on Tres Pinos Road celebrated the latest updating with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting hosted by the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, June 27.
"Instead of doing the small update, we did the full remodel," owners Mike and Allison Sicoli said. "We needed to update tables, chairs and carpets, and when we saw that other Round Table franchises were going with a bright, airy look, we thought 'what a great direction to go."
The Sicolis said they "wanted to give the community and improved Round Table Pizza," so they added more seats, an outdoor patio wth additional seating, more televisions —there are now 10 in the restaurant —and brighter colors.
The beer menu has been increased from to 16 from the previous 10, mixing in more craft beers, which Mike Sicoli said customers wanted. The menu of pizza, salads and sandwiches remains the same otherwise.
"Customers have been real excited," the Sicolis said. "Everywhere we go, they are excited about how it looks. We’re very blessed to be a part of this community and we live in a great town that's been good to us."
Round Table first opened in Hollister in 1977 by Allison's dad, Merlin Knowles, who was on hand to celebrate the remodeling on Tuesday. Reed Sanders of State Sen. Anthony Canella's office showed up to present a proclamation to the restaurant on behalf of the State Senate. The Sicolis said the presentation had extra special meaning because Sanders was a delivery driver for them for three years while he worked his way through college.
The restaurant was voted best pizza in a recent newspaper readers' poll, an award the local Round Table has won numerous times. "That was another big honor," the Sicolis said. "We're lucky to be second-generation and still going."
Knowles started with Round Table Pizza in 1964 and became a franchisee in 1968. He opened the Hollister restaurant in 1977 and Mike and Allison took over in 1997.
"Allison and I owe a lot of appreciation to our employees because they work hard," Mike Sicoli said. "We've got a great group of kids that are happy to come to work —it’s one big team."
The Sicolis repeatedly praised the support they get from the community, and they take pride in giving back by supporting "anything that's kid-related" locally, from Little League baseball to Hollister Recreation programs to Kids at the Park.
See below for Cristian Almanza's interview with Merlin Knowles, Mike Sicoli and Allison Sicoli.