Michiana native returns from career in LA to open music-themed pizza shop
SOUTH BEND, Ind.—A new pizza shop with a music-themed vibe and affinity for giving back to the community officially opens on Wednesday.
Michiana native Doug Michael spent years in Los Angeles working in the music industry alongside of artists like Green Day, Ray Charles and Lionel Richie.
In 2002, while in L.A., Michael started making pizza with a friend and it quickly turned into a passion he could share with others.
“I started making pizzas and after that I started having pizza parties at my house, where five, six, seven people would come over. Eventually it was like 40, 45 people were showing up at my house. And people we’re calling me up and having parties and saying ‘can you come and by the way, can you make a couple of pizzas for us,’” Michael said.
When the building went up for sale at a deal Michael couldn’t pass up, he decided to turn his passion for cooking into a business.
Center Stage Pizza, located at 428 Lincoln Way West, mixes Michael’s love for both pizza and music.
“Most restaurants, when you walk in them, they have TVs but they’re always playing sports. I want to do something a little bit different, so I’m playing music videos,” Michael said.
Each Thursday, the restaurant will also feature a music-related movie, starting with showing Purple Rain on Thursday, August 8.
It’s not just pizza that Michael hopes to give out; but also opportunity.
“Once a month, there will be a weekend where local artists can show their work here,” Michael said.
Michael hopes to also include unsigned local and regional artists in the music video playlists, by allowing them to show their work on select days, too.
“Also, beginning in September, every month we’re going to be dedicating a portion of each pizza sale to a charity, the charity might be national, could be local,” Michael said.
The official grand opening is scheduled for Wednesday, August 7. Until then, check out what’s to come on Center Stage Pizza’s Facebook page.