Fan-friendly, pizza place in New Orleans
By Richard Davis
TFW Staff Writer
New Orleans may normally be covered in Tiger pride and visions of yellow and purple, but there’s at least a couple of places that can have you seeing red around the time of the Sugar Bowl — Razorback red, that is.
Three friends who grew up in Little Rock together and all graduated from the University of Arkansas own Theo’s Pizza in New Orleans. James “Jammer” Orintas, Greg Deitz and Ted Neikirk are already showing their Hog pride for the Sugar Bowl contest versus Ohio State on Jan. 4.
“We already have our Hog flags up, which is dangerous in LSU territory,” Jammer said in a telephone interview. “It’s tough ’cause they’re the most arrogant group of fans ever.
“We laugh about that because I think it’s too funny not to rub it in a little bit.”
The idea for the pizza place came up while Dietz’s wife was going to law school there. Jammer said the couple kept mentioning how there was no good pizza to be had in New Orleans. The three friends got together and decided to fill the void.
So, Theo’s Pizza was born — eight months before Hurricane Katrina devastated the region.
“We reopened the day the city let people back in,” Jammer said.
He said the restaurateurs couldn’t even wash their hands in the water when they first got there, but a restaurant inspector from South Carolina provided them with a camping sink and some hand sanitizer. With what supplies and ingredients they could get, Jammer said Theo’s sold out of food every day for the next six weeks. In addition, facing a dusk-to-dawn curfew, Jammer said they were escorted in and out of the area every day by military Humvees.
“We made it through it somehow,” he said.
Made it through and succeeded, having just opened a second location in New Orleans about 16 months ago.
While they’re not planning any Hog-themed specials at their pizza places, Jammer said they did have some special Theo’s coozies made up that Razorback fans should enjoy.
For location information, hours of operation and a look at Theo’s menu, visit www.theospizza.com.