By Bailey Faulkner
A new era is dawning for one of Boone’s most beloved restaurants and hangouts. West King Street staple Capone’s Pizza is beginning preparations for an upcoming and eagerly-awaited move to the New Market Centre off East King Street and US 421 in Boone. The restaurant hopes to complete the move sometime in mid-May.
While Capone’s has thrived for over a dozen years at its current location on King Street, the restaurant’s success has forced its co-owners to look for opportunities to expand in more recent years.
“We’ve outgrown King Street for some time now,” co-owner Pete Shurba said. “It’s a great place, but we just got too big within a few years.”
One of the main drawbacks of the restaurant’s current location on King Street is a lack of available parking. While the restaurant is hard to miss when driving down the city’s main strip, the crowed street lined with parking meters has not been particularly convenient for potential customers and motorists.
“Parking is a huge consideration,” Shurba said. “I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen slow down, look into our windows and drive away never to be seen again.”
Recognizing the limitations of the current location, Shurba feels confident that the restaurant’s move will make parking easier for pizza-hungry guests.
“We are going to have more free parking than we’d ever need,” Shurba said.
Easy and free parking won’t be the only benefit that comes with the location change. Like many stores and restaurants on King Street, Capone’s has had to deal with severely limited space at the current location. The current building has around 1500 square feet, which often leads to cramping, especially 0n always-popular Tuesdays when the restaurant serves any of its large selection of beers for $2 per pint or bottle. After the move, Capone’s will have around 5,200 square feet at its disposal.
“We are going to be able to seat around 150 people instead of around 50,” Shurba said.
In addition to the increase in booths and tables and the long-awaited addition of bar stools and a proper bar, the restaurant will now operate with two full kitchens, breaking from tradition on King Street where the kitchen was directly attached to the dining area.
While Capone’s realizes the need for a move, the restaurant is also aware of why High Country residents and visitors have come to love the place: its signature pizzas. Capone’s will keep its entire pizza variety on the menu after the move. There are also plans for additions to the menu, so you should keep an eye out for more delicious options in the near future.
“We get to expand a few things, but we want to basically transplant what we do here to the new location,” said Shurba. “We don’t want to do too much too differently.”
The owners and staff at Capone’s aren’t the only ones already excited for the move. The restaurant’s Facebook page clearly indicated that the decision to move would be a popular one among the community as well.
In promotion of the move, the restaurant’s Facebook page shared a photoshopped picture of the Capone’s sign superimposed over the front of the former Mountain House Restaurant where Capone’s will shortly relocate. Over 5,000 people viewed the post, and it didn’t take long for Shurba to feel confident about this next step in the history of Capone’s.
“We’ve had over 70 new people like our page this week. Everything has been so positive and the Facebook post proves it,” Shurba said.
The excited restaurant has its eyes set on the middle of May for the upcoming move. While Capone’s is certainly happy to enter a new stage in the restaurant’s history, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t thankful for the time it had on King Street.
“We wouldn’t be here without the King Street location. We are very grateful for the opportunities we have had,” said Shurba.
For Shurba, this move, more than anything, is about keeping the restaurant’s loyal customers happy.
“It’s like everything; Capone’s has to move forward, and we can’t disappoint people,” Shurba remarked.
The New Market Centre is located off East King Street and US 421 in Boone. While the new location is not necessarily within walking distance to ASU’s campus, bus stops servicing several Appalcart routes at the New Market Centre will make travel easy for pedestrians accustomed to the short walk to the current location.
Keep your eyes open for more information on Capone’s move and exciting additions to its menu!