By Mary-Justine Lanyon
The saga began last February with the first flakes that fell in the first of a series of storms.
On Feb. 23, the Lake Arrowhead Village Pizza Deli posted this message on Facebook: “We’ve got some crazy weather goin’ on up here. We’ll be closed today and keeping watch on the forecast for the next few days. Stay home, stay safe, we’ll keep ya posted.”
The message two days later read, “Snow is now up and over our big patio deck. Might be a while till we’re up and running! If anyone is interested in doing a good deed…bring your shovels.”
Messages on Feb. 27 and 28 lamented not being able to help feed everyone stranded on the mountain. “We are literally buried up here. Where are the plows?”
And then, finally, on March 7: “We’re open again today – full menu. Come on in and say hi.”
Little did owners Lisa and Dave Doyle know what would happen the very next day.
On March 8, after noticing a dip in the roof inside the kitchen, the building was inspected. “We found a large crack in one of our main support beams caused by the weight (of snow) on our roof,” they posted on Facebook. “Unfortunately, we were forced to evacuate and shut down operations immediately. We are completely heartbroken by the outcome as we were so happy to be back open and feeding our community for the last couple of days.”
While they were open, they were able to feed first responders, the hospital and the Red Cross, Lisa said.
The Doyles posted they had no timeline for when they could reopen but promised to do just that as soon as they could.
That reopening came three months later.
Chad Logan of Logan Construction oversaw the repair work that needed to be done. He facilitated the necessary permit, which came through on April 21.
A month ago, on May 26, the Doyles posted that a crane had arrived and installed the beams. “We are on the mend and ready to put this nightmare to rest! Thank you to all of our customers that have called and stopped by to check on us! You have no idea how much it means to our Deli family!”
Lisa Doyle echoed that sentiment last Friday, June 23, when the pizza deli reopened for business.
“I can’t tell you what the response from our customers meant to us,” she said. “What it did for our morale.” When the phone calls started, Lisa added, “we realized people really cared.”
The damage was limited to the kitchen, which is where the roof collapsed. Lisa and Dave are so grateful that no one was inside the building when the collapse took place so no one was injured.
“By the grace of God, we got through this,” Lisa said. “I feel as though God was holding the beam up. Our kids (their crew) stand under that beam every day. It fell at the right time.”
Almost that entire crew is back on duty, all with huge smiles on their faces, happy to be back at work.
On Friday morning just after 11 a.m., folks kept filing in and going up to the counter to place their orders – pizzas, eggplant sandwiches, all their favorites.
Travis Lanthier of Lake Arrowhead Brewing Company was there, cleaning out the tap lines. The pizza deli will be pouring his blonde. And Chad Logan and some of his crew were there to help the Doyles celebrate. “Dave and Lisa are like family to me,” Logan said.
As for their plans, Lisa said they are adding a few new pastas to the menu. And guests will notice a small trailer out on the patio. Lisa plans to offer what she calls fun desserts, drinks and merchandise out there.
The Lake Arrowhead Pizza Deli is located in upper Lake Arrowhead Village, across the parking lot from the post office. To view their menus, visit lakearrowheaddeli.com.