WOW! Magazine: City Rockers Brick Oven Pizza

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Jeff Parker says, “Paducah Bank really rocks it with their personal service!”

Jeff Parker is familiar with the restaurant business.

Being part of the family that owns Parker’s in Lone Oak, he knows what it takes to run a successful eatery. After working in the cell phone business for many years, he decided the time was right to make another move in the Lone Oak area.

“My son Tyler and I had been talking about doing a restaurant,” says Jeff, “and at the end of 2011, we decided to go for it. My brother Paul operates Parker’s, so together we drew up a plan.”

“It was literally drawn up on a yellow note pad,” laughs Tyler. “The whole thing was sketched out in no time.”

Paul, who’d been experimenting with pizza at Parker’s, joined the father/son team, and City Rockers was born.

“Parker’s is a 50s/60s experience. We went with a 70s/80s theme here. People seem to really relate to it well, and everyone is enjoying it,” says Jeff as he sits flanked by posters of Night Ranger and Led Zeppelin. Dream On plays overhead.

The restaurant itself is colorful, roomy, and retro. Modern aspects include a separate private meeting and dining area, tall ceilings, a curved pizza buffet and salad bar area, and a pizza oven that can produce upward of 250 pies per hour.

“People have just loved it,” adds Jeff. In fact, the initial response has been a bit overwhelming.

“It’s been crazy,” says Tyler. “We were slammed from the beginning. We didn’t advertise at all or even have a sign. But we did have over 700 Facebook friends before we opened and about 1,000 the first week or so. That and word-of-mouth really worked.”

“This is a great family place,” says Jeff. “Plus we are showing sports games on the large screens in here. We’ve had quite a few people come in for that reason. There’s really nothing like this in the area. We’ve been told it’s like the Hard Rock of pizza. Sometimes we see folks come in, not smiling. After the good food and great atmosphere, they go out smiling. That is what we want.”

The food itself is also unique. “We don’t have freezers or fryers here,” says Jeff. “We prepare and use everything fresh daily, even our meat. We don’t get frozen stuff, and everything is baked. We won’t deep fry. So not only is it better, everything is fresher.”

And the food is a huge hit for people in-the-know. An experienced restaurant manager walks up to Jeff as we conduct our interview, and his first words are adamant: “Really good, Jeff, really good! Congrats to you guys. Your pizza is just fantastic!”

From the concept sketched on a piece of paper, to a well-satisfied customer, the Parkers took their dream and ran with it. “It’s been great,” says Jeff. “And Paducah Bank has been very supportive all the way. When they say they have personal bankers, they really mean it. Molly Bailey has been great for us, and she gives meaning to personal banking.”

This feature appears in the current edition of WOW! Magazine. Read the entire issue here.