I love living in a small town. In particular, I love the people. They are friendly and they actually seem to care about you.
This was proven the other night, when Debi and I stopped by Ashland Pizza and Pub (APP) for a something to eat and a drink.
First off, Ashland Pizza and Pub is fairly new and has been on my agenda to review for some time now.
With the addition of APP – this brings the number of Pizza Joints in Ashland to three, of which – only one delivers (Pizza Hut, where you cannot get beer). The other is Pizza Haus, a well established (but different style of Pizza, with no taps) restaurant that seems to have been in Ashland forever.
The Pizza is handmade, right in front of you –and again mimics Shakespeare's with the Toppings Selection. What I like about that, is I can get Artichokes on my pizza, something my wife introduced me to 10 years ago when I came to Columbia.
Pizza comes in three sizes, and there are two unique things they do do different.
- During the workday, you can get Pizza by the slice (for $3) that is premade and ready to go.
- Kids Dessert Pizza during the week.
Both of these are welcome additions and well received.
The Atmosphere is fairly laid back, with both, table and bar seating. 3 Flat Screens and a large projection can put up four different events at a time, so this should be really good come football season. There is also a stage, where they have live music sometimes on Friday Nights. I haven’t attended, but I’ve heard it is good. Finally, while you cannot smoke inside - there is a smoking section/covered patio in back, conveniently located next to the bar.
Beer is available by bottle when you purchase your Pizza at all times, but the bar is only opened Thursday through Sunday, which is sad. Not because they have anything amazing on draft, but (especially with the recent addition of pitchers) it would be nice to have a draft beer with your pizza.
The beer is standard InBev fare, typical of Mid-Missouri. They do have New Castle on Draft, but 5 Day IPA in Bottle. There is even discussion to include some of the Rock Bridge Brewery Beers into the lineup – definitely something to change things up.
What makes the bar really nice, is the barman – John. Friendly, engaging and knowledgeable about beer – I find him fun to to talk to, and he is definitely in his element. Quick to fill the glass, John really impressed a couple of times recently. First, when I left a deck of cards and a notebook at the bar, he set them aside until the next time I was in. Secondly, he seems to have a great memory of clientele, and recalls that I drink New Castle. Both of these are great signs of customer service, and it’s the little things like that that keep me coming back.
This brings me back to where I started on this review – liking a small town.
Guaranteed, we cannot go in there without running into someone we know- which is cool, because then it turns into a social event. James sees his friends, we get to catch up on local gossip and everyone has a good time.
I thought we were going to escape this last Sunday, when two of John’s friends (and their Daughter) stopped by.
Introduced as Christie and Katie – they had just spent the weekend camping and riding the Katie Trail. We laughed and talked for awhile and at some point it came up I was a blogger. Immediately, both ladies knew who I was, knew the blog and even remembered the post (Bull Rock Brewery) that brought them to us.
All of this amused Debi to no end…as she made fun of my “Groupies” – even in little ol’ Ashland MO, population 3700+. A place where friendly faces greet you at door, and you never never know who you will meet or friendships you will make.
APP fits in nicely in this environment, and successfully fills a niche here in town.
- Delivery – Pizza Hut (last resort)
- Takeout – Pizza Haus (Debi’s favorite)
- Sit Down and Socialize over Pizza and Beer- APP
Finally – for Christie and Katie.
I know we were talking about Rip Van Winkle, from Weston Brewing Company, but you might want to keep an eye out for their O’Malley’s IPA as well.
In addition, we were talking about the distillery there – McCormick Distilling Co, producers of 360 Vodka and other products.