MENOMONIE — A downtown Menomonie business is celebrating a half-century of success by showing off its new look.

Ted’s Pizza Palace on Main Street in downtown Menomonie celebrated the unveiling of their Main Street Makeover Monday morning as part of their 50th anniversary celebration.

The business was selected in January as the winner of the makeover contest put on by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. based on the business’ successful track record, its clear community support and the potential to grow as a third generation of the family joins the business.

Owners Jim and Kim Gounaikis said the new look and amenities allotted through the Main Street Makeover have been invaluable and will help Ted’s Pizza Palace thrive for another generation.

“Celebrating our 50th year in business is especially exciting with the Main Street Makeover win from WEDC,” Jim and Kim Gounaikis said in a statement. “We are so grateful to be chosen for this project and thrilled with how the makeover turned out. The design team was an absolute pleasure to work with. Their creativity, insightfulness and patience made the experience easy, fun and rewarding. We would like to thank all that made this dream a reality and look forward to sharing it for many years to come.”

As part of the makeover, the business received new branding inside and outside of the building, new inside cooking equipment and a revamped seating area with a new layout and lighting.

A team made up of WEDC staff and professionals from Retailworks Inc. worked closely with the Gounaikis family and staff from Main Street Menomonie to develop the restaurant’s new look.

The goal of the makeover was to update the interior of the restaurant to provide a better dining experience and redesign the storefront to make it easier for new visitors to Menomonie to discover the business.

WEDC CEO Missy Hughes said being able to be involved with this project has been humbling and is an example of the great things main street organizations can do in their communities.

“As I travel around the state and visit communities, the downtown organizations are so critical for helping the vibrancy of our main streets all around the state,” Hughes said. “It’s really important that our small businesses and our rural communities continue to be vibrant. We are thankful to have been able to partner with Ted’s on this project and wish them all the success in the world.”

The Main Street Makeover funds paid for a new awning and storefront tiles to enhance the restaurant’s façade, which was part of a larger renovation that included new counters, drink coolers, booths, paint, interior and exterior signage, murals, carpets and marketing upgrades.

The unveiling, which was set for earlier this year, was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To keep customers and employees safe, the restaurant has adopted public health measures recommended by the WEDC, including utilization of face masks, social distancing and take-out and delivery options.

Mayor Randy Knaack said having Ted’s Pizza Palace in downtown Menomonie is a great asset to the community and hopes the new makeover will allow the business to continue to be successful for another 50 years.

“Ted’s is a valuable part of downtown Menomonie, and we really appreciate them being here,” Knaack said. “As a family business, you go through struggles and endure for so long and all of a sudden you get a chance at a facelift and a brand new look, that’s a great thing. It’s a wonderful asset to have in this community.”

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