Island pizzeria remains strong leading into second year in business

Mischele Hill, co-owner of Bridge View Pizzeria in Island, stands behind the counter at the restaurant during breakfast on Monday.

Bridge View Pizzeria, the eatery that was opened last February in downtown Island by Eric and Mischele Hill, has continued to prosper.

Despite having its grand opening one month before lockdowns brought on by the pandemic, it didn’t seem to hinder business.

“I never shut down through the COVID,” Mischele Hill said. “Obviously, when we couldn’t do dining in, we just had carry-out and delivery. We’ve actually never been shut down.”

And with the pizzeria turning 2 years old in about three months, business is still looking promising.

“It’s (been) wonderful,” Mischele Hill said. “I have doubled in sales — and it’s not just Island and Livermore, (we’ve) traveled to Sacramento 10 times on Saturday. It’s all over — we cover everybody.”

A first-time restaurant owner, Mischele Hill worked in the kitchen at Diamond Lakes Resort in Owensboro when the building space became available and finally jumped at the chance to do something that she always wanted to do.

At first, the business had some detractors due to the timing of when the Hills opened up.

“My food guy told me that I opened up at the worst possible time that I could have opened up,” Mischele Hill said. “With that being said, I have went beyond what they expected me to do. My sales have increased, therefore my product has increased ….”

The restaurant started offering a breakfast menu in August after the Hills were getting requests from their customers, which has proved to be popular with many folks in the community.

“People were asking because there wasn’t anything in Livermore or Island that offered the dining in for breakfast anymore,” Mischele Hill said. “It’s obviously good. You have your days that are slower than others, but I also have gentlemen that are here. I technically don’t open up until 6 a.m. but I’m here a little bit after 4 a.m., and they’re right behind me. And if I’m not here, they’re sitting there waiting.”

Mischele Hill had added additional items to the menu that have become hits with customers such as calzones, chicken wings and the crustless pizzas — which consists of the base and the toppings without the carbs.

Besides having affordable prices, Mischele Hill said that her transparency may be key in the restaurant’s continued success.

“If I do have a mistake or if I do make a mistake, I make it right,” Mischele Hill said. “I’m not saying that others don’t also, but I try to make sure that it’s corrected right then and there. And if I don’t correct it, and you call in with something, which does not happen very often, it’s credited.”

With efforts from the advocacy group Friends of Island looking to improve the downtown area infrastructure, Mischele Hill is excited to be part of the rebuilding and refurbishing process.

“It brings in more for the local community and for others around us,” Mischele Hill said. “...I think Calhoun, Livermore, Sacramento, they have their own big agenda of things, and Island needs to be put back on the market with it as well.”

Mischele Hill particularly points out that her niece Brianna Abney helps keep the business afloat.

“Without her, there’s days I think, ‘What would I do?’ ” Mischele Hill said. “She’s 15, but I can go off and leave her, and she can run this place. And the customers know her too. She’s good.”

The business has continued to become a family affair, with her children volunteering and helping out at the restaurant, while Mischele Hill’s in-laws will be opening their own grocery store and tanning salon right next door to the restaurant that was occupied by the recently-closed Red’s Tanning and Hometown Creations.

“I have a lot of support from my family (and friends),” Mischele Hill said. “That’s what makes it successful.”

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