Superior couple builds legacy with fresh ingredients at Ride or Die Pizzeria
Terry and Dawn Johnson hope to leave the new business to their children one day.
A new pizzeria is open in the space once occupied by the Thirsty Pagan.
Together with his wife, Dawn, Terry Johnson opened Ride or Die Pizzeria at 1623 Broadway St. The Superior couple also owns Lee’s Pizza in Duluth, he said.
“We thought Superior needed another sit-down, family pizzeria,” Johnson said.
After some remodeling, installing equipment and redoing the bar, Johnson said they opened the doors in the evenings for a soft opening to train staff ahead of the grand opening Friday, July 16.
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The restaurant offers pizza made with fresh ingredients in a fun environment with live entertainment on the weekends, Johnson said. Its hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday; and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. It’s closed on Monday.
“It’s always been my wife’s dream to have a bar-restaurant combined,” Johnson said.
And it was his wife who inspired the name for the new restaurant.
“I met her 24 years ago,” Johnson said. “In the first week we were together, my wife said I was her ride or die. She’s been calling me her ride or die ever since. My wife has a few health issues, and we’re not promised tomorrow, so I just jumped up and said that’s what we’re going to call it.”
He’s hopeful the pizzeria will attract other businesses and draw more people to the area.
“The location that we picked, it’s kind of close to downtown, and there’s the new hotel that’s going in there,” Johnson said.
The couple bought Lee’s Pizza in Duluth a couple of years ago because it was a wonderful pizza place. Workers from Lee's Pizza are initially manning the new location. He said staffing issues could delay reopening the Duluth eatery.
Unlike Lee’s Pizza, Ride or Die Pizzeria offers a new opportunity for the couple.
“It’s ours,” Johnson said. “It’s something that we’re building, and we can leave to our children.”
For information, call 715-718-0122 or visit rideordiepizzeria.com .