actually went to Little Caesars (headquartered) in Detroit to
get an exemption so that they could do this deal,” said Amato.
“It’s really neat. They didn’t have this territory. There are
two or three other franchisees that have the Toledo market and
nobody wanted to make that kind of investment other than the
family already owns 25 Little Caesars franchises in the
Minneapolis area. Amato believes the new pizza shop
is the largest
investment in the neighborhood in more than 30 years. The
store will create up to 60 full-time and part-time jobs.
was really one of the biggest drivers in deciding to do this.
We've done a lot of different things, we were born and raised in
the Toledo area, and this area needs it, they need momentum they
need some energy and we’re super excited to bring some
jobs,” said store owner Luke Nachtrab.
murals became part of the fabric of the store’s design, a
colorful display that fits well into a neighborhood of welcoming
murals. The Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center (SQACC)
staff was tasked with designing the mural. The center’s art
director Lorenzo Flores worked early mornings and late
nights to finish the mural in time for the stand-alone store’s
grand opening. He was joined on occasion by community members
and SQACC staff, including Lourdes Santiago and Linda
The demographics of the neighborhood proved attractive to the
Nachtrab family—a situation where many people don’t own cars, so
they would have to get a pizza within walking distance. Amato
also believes the former Toledoans “saw a resurgence” in the Old
South End “and wanted to be a part of that.”
The successful grand opening has Historic South looking to do
more deals as a property middleman to foster further development
along the Broadway Corridor.
“We’re seeing some other properties down there—one in
particular—that we’d like to purchase so that we could repurpose
it. There are a lot of vacant buildings right there along
Broadway now,” said Amato, who hopes the Little Caesars and
recent new home of the Nueva Esperanza Community Credit Union
in the former Carnegie-era South Branch library building can
serve as catalysts for more investment.