Pizza Americana offers a variety of pizzas, wine and beer. (Courtesy Pizza Americana)
“There are a lot of investments right now people are putting into their homes, and the communities are really starting to really thrive and come together,” Swim said. “But I also saw that wasn’t happening as quickly in retail and [in] some of our strip centers.”
Swim, along with his business partner, J.P. Nguyen, decided in early 2019 to put their restaurant in a former Burger King to draw more people to the area, he said.
“Nobody in the community went to the [building]. It was kind of looking a little dilapidated,” he said. “I was like, ‘This is right in our community. I know how to use it.’”
The restaurant also brought a unique dining opportunity. Its pizzas are made with premium ingredients, Swim said. The pizza dough, which uses Italian flour, takes 24 hours to make, he said.
“What we wanted to do was to be able to offer really just a great place that the neighborhood could feel like they could just pop into and utilize a couple times a month,” Swim said.
The pizzeria is not Swim’s first venture into the restaurant industry. He began a catering business 13 years ago, and since then, he has opened a barbecue booth and a Philly cheesesteak booth at Legacy Hall in Plano. About a year ago, he merged his restaurants with Front Burner Group Dining.
Pizza Americana combines classic pizza flavors and unique toppings that draw customers in, Swim said. One of the most popular menu items is the fig manchego pizza, which has Prosciutto di Parma, fig jam and baby arugula. The vegan pizza has roasted peppers, onions and squash as well as rubella and vegan pesto.
Many guests, though, continue to go back to the classics.
“What’s funny is people still just crave our pepperoni pizza,” Swim said. “That’s been wildly successful.”
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Swim said, the restaurant closed its dining room but did not see a drop in business.
“Pizza kind of lends itself to being to-go,” Swim said.
The business continues to offer only takeout because Swim said he thought staff was still able to serve the community without reopening dining. However, the restaurant is preparing to reopen for dine-in with some changes within the next few weeks, he said.
Instead of having customers order at the counter, the restaurant will now offer table service, he said. The restaurant is also working on getting a liquor license so it can offer cocktails in addition to beer and wine.
“We really appreciate the Richardson community for their support, and we want to continue to [show our appreciation] as we reopen the restaurant dining room,” Swim said. “We are really focused on wanting to create a better customer experience.”
800 W. Arapaho Road, Richardson
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 4:30-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri., Sat.-Sun. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.