THOMAS SIMMONS: 'Neighbor' will miss Pizza House owner, staff
March 22, 2013 11:00 AM

Change is inevitable, and the Feb. 24 Gazette story, “Pizza House changes ownership,” is an example.

As a 21-year “resident” of Weyandt Hall, IUP’s science building, and a periodic patron of Pizza House just across the street, I would like to thank the owner of 40 years, Johnny Tsiris, and his staff for the lunchtime soup and roll takeout specials and late night gyros and meatball hoagies. It was much-needed sustenance for long workdays.

I would also like to thank Tom Zaucha, the new owner, for keeping Johnny around in some capacity, although I do miss some of the familiar faces who are no longer behind the counter.

I will also miss Len Marsinko, who will be closing his establishment in the near future. Before coffee and doughnut shops became popular in Indiana and sprung up on and off campus, there was the Oakland Avenue Cafe, located within Pizza House. You may have seen the “Cafe Open” curbside placard across the street from IUP’s Oak Grove.

The Cafe was first opened in the 1990s by Todd Boden, who left this world at too young an age. It has been owned and operated by Len since 2000. Len had previously worked in quality control at Fisher Scientific and, when the plant closed, he became the proprietor of the Oakland Avenue Cafe.

I will miss the early-morning coffee jump-starts and midafternoon pick-me-ups, and brief conversations about the ills of the country. I wish Len all the best in his future endeavors.

Thomas Simmons


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