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Nov. 26, 2022

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Owners of Main Event Sports Grill rent Vancouver Pizza Co. space

Uptown Village spot to be renamed Mondo’s Pizza, will open in about two weeks

By , Columbian Innovation Editor

The owners of Main Event Sports Grill bought the equipment and leased the space of the recently closed Vancouver Pizza Co., and they plan to open their own pizza restaurant in the same Uptown Village spot.

Jason Fish, co-owner of Main Event, said the new pizza spot, called Mondo’s Pizza, will begin to serve to-go pizzas in about two weeks at 2219 Main St. The first staff members and pizzaiolos have been working on a recipe for a thin, sourdough crust style, and the restaurant will also eventually serve deep-dish pizza.

Fish said the owners are constructing a bar in the building, and their liquor license is under review. The bar will join many of the breweries, taphouses and restaurants in the busy Uptown area. Fish said that when he opens indoor dining, guests will be welcome until midnight or maybe later, depending on how much nightlife returns after the pandemic recedes.

After Vancouver Pizza Co. closed in late December, the previous owners left almost all the cooking equipment inside, Fish said.

The building’s landlord from the Al Angelo Co. contacted Fish to get advice on how to sell the equipment, and when Fish arrived at the spot, it sparked an idea to buy the business and open his own pizza place – something he’s dreamed of doing for much of his life. He and his brother grew up having regular pizza cook-offs, he said.

Fish and his business partners, Mike Llorente and Steve Hilken, who own both Main Event locations in Vancouver and 3 Sheets at the Harbor in Portland, made an offer.

“If the equipment is in there, it’s way cheaper. We wanted to do pizza all during the lockdown. If you think takeout, one of the best Americanized takeouts is pizza. It travels much better than Main Event stuff.”

Fish said many of his friends who own local pizza companies said 2020 was their busiest and most profitable year.

The decision to open a new restaurant during the pandemic wasn’t easy because restaurants are still struggling to turn a profit, Fish said. Hiring is difficult because many of the experienced employees in the restaurant industry have left to seek non-restaurant work.

“It happened to be the right timing, and the landlord worked with us,” he said.

Fish said the name Mondo comes from the childhood nickname of Mark Matthias, owner of Beaches Restaurant and Bar.

“It’s a friendly competition, but clearly the pandemic brought us closer together,” Fish said. “The name is a tip of the hat to our friends over at Beaches.”

This article was corrected to clarify that the owners of Main Event did not buy Vancouver Pizza Company. Vancouver Pizza Company closed with no monetary gain, according to Karen McMillen, the former owner. 


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