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Local pizza joint celebrates first year in business

What a long, wild year it’s been
By: Lauren Weber, Gold Country News Service
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In a strip of shops that have struggled to remain open, Wild Dan’z Pizza has done what few have: the pizzeria is about to hit its one-year mark. The restaurant, located in what has hopes to become Rocklin’s downtown, will celebrate this weekend with bands, games, prizes and of course, pizza. Part of what Dan Lubow said is keeping his eatery alive is that he’s found niches in the midst of serving up inventive pies. Almost every night of the week has something happening. Thursdays it’s karaoke, Friday nights are filled with guitar playing, local bands take the stage on Saturday nights and the mic is available if people want to come in and play the remaining nights of the week. It also helps that his pizzas and beverages are competitively priced, all less than $23 per pie (no pizzas are sold by the slice here, but they do have every creation available in the small, individual size). “All my customers in here are regulars,” said Lubow on a recent Thursday afternoon, while customers steadily flowed in and out of the restaurant. Mark Manausa of Rocklin was one of them. He plays as a drummer for a local band, Superhead, and performed at Wild Dan’z Pizza. Since his gig, he said he’s become a weekly customer – his favorite item being the grilled chicken pesto hot sandwich. “It’s a really cool, local thing,” Manausa said of the pizzeria. He calls the place “funky,” which seems fitting considering the decor. Edie Money, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and The Beatles album covers line the walls, making up Lubow’s more than 600 records in the restaurant. Ms. Pac-Man and Dart Star Spectrum are among the old-school games set up to play. And if games and music aren’t what you crave, there are 12 flat screen televisions placed throughout the space for alternate entertainment, many channeled at sporting events. Located on Pacific Street in Rocklin, tucked in between vacant buildings, Lubow said he’s seen businesses open and close within the year. Part of what attracted him to the location, was the promise of redeveloping Rocklin’s downtown, which he hopes to see in the near future. And one of Lubow’s regular customers has his sights set on the same idea. David Nelson, owner of Roundtrip Dry Cleaning, is running for Rocklin city council with hopes to grow Rocklin’s downtown businesses. “I’ve grown very, very concerned with the state of economy in Rocklin,” 27-year-old Nelson said. With the neighboring cities of Roseville and Lincoln, Nelson said Rocklin needs to become a destination by creating an identity and a place to visit. “Rocklin needs to step up now,” he said. He was initially introduced to Wild Dan’z Pizza while walking around the area. He noticed empty buildings and unused space and decided to support the local eatery. Now he’s become a frequent guest, savoring his favorite pizza, the Italian Rockstar with sun-dried tomato and garlic pesto sauce, linguica, pineapple and red onions. Since Nelson and Lubow’s introduction, they’ve worked together with Nelson serving Wild Dan’z Pizza at events that help get the word out on the pizzeria. Also what has helped business for Lubow is his selection of ingredients. He prides himself on serving good food and has actually removed items from his menu because they weren’t cutting it. The dough is made fresh daily and every menu item was created by Lubow. Among the pizza menu is Salicious, named after his dog Sally, that blends flavors with spicy Thai peanut sauce, grilled chicken, roma tomatoes, pineapple and green onions. The creative pie names – Maui Wowie, Mary Jane, Who-Rah and Gut Buster – introduce guests to some of Wild Dan’z original favorites. In addition to pizzas, hot sandwiches, salads and appetizers, Wild Dan’z has six beers on tap, eight bottled beers and four wine varieties. And all will be on-hand for the one-year anniversary party Sept. 5 and 6 with a chance to win a $50 gift certificate for the first person to find three pairs of duplicate album covers on the walls. To help celebrate, there will be two local bands, What’s Shakin playing Friday night and Fair Game playing Saturday night. For more information on the celebration, contact Wild Dan’z Pizza at 624-9453. What: Wild Dan’z Pizza Where: 5514 Pacific St. #100, Rocklin Hours: Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily Info: 624-9453 or www.wilddanzpizza.com Most requested pie: Boda-Bing with a white ceasar base, chicken, bacon, roma tomatoes and green onions