Vinyl Pies, a vinyl record-themed pizzeria, will open in Hot Springs

HOT SPRINGS – In the past, Hot Springs lacked an establishment specializing in the most popular food option in history: pizza.

Soon that will change, as Vinyl Pies Pizza owners Karen and Gary Goss hope to open the pizzeria and sports bar by the end of September.

The vinyl-themed pizzeria will offer specialty pies, listed as its “greatest hits,” while customers can customize their pies from the “What I Like About You” section of the menu. The shop will also offer two dessert pizzas, according to Gary Goss.

“The unofficial motto of the city is ‘Where Mayberry meets the Twilight Zone,'” Karen Goss said. “So we said ‘Pizza, plus a throwback theme – magic. “”

The Gosses, who also own Iron Horse Station, helped organize the “80s Weekend” themed party earlier this year, February 25-27.

A pizza place in Hot Springs

The idea of ​​opening a pizzeria in Hot Springs lasted several years.

“When we got here, we knew Hot Springs needed pizza,” Karen Goss said. “Gary told everyone, ‘You should open a pizza place.'”

“People asked me, ‘What would you do here?’ and I was like, ‘Open a pizza place,’ Gary Goss said. ‘I told them, ‘Open it and you’ll make a fortune.'”

The motto of Vinyl Pies Pizza,

Now, years later, the Kids and their business partners Marty Martin and his girlfriend, Ashley Skipper, will get into the business venture.

Years ago, Martin was in town to visit the couple. The idea of ​​opening a pizzeria started out as a pipe dream.

“Marty came and was here one night, and he said, ‘Let’s get some pizza,’ and we all started laughing,” Karen Goss said. “I think I came up with the name ‘Vinyl Pies’, and Gary had the idea for the pizza. We told (Martin) that, and he said, ‘That’s awesome. I’ll do that with you tomorrow.'”

According to Gary Goss, the long hikes to nearby towns for pizza was another incentive to bring a local pizzeria to Hot Springs.

“Here’s the problem we’ve had: everyone is making these huge expectations,” Gary Goss said. “We have families camping and saying, ‘I just need something quick for the kids’, and we know Weaverville is 45 minutes away. But now we can produce quality brick oven pizza in 10 minutes.

Vinyl Pies Pizza is located at 164 Bridge Street in downtown Hot Springs.  The owners of the new pizzeria, Karen Goss, right, and Gary Goss, second from right, and their business partners, Ashley Skipper and Marty Martin, have decided to keep the bank vault and sell t shirts and store goods in them.

The Kids also manifested their dreams by buying Iron Horse. While the couple bought the building on August 31, 2018, the dream started in 2008.

“We came (to Iron Horse) to get away from the craziness of the beach,” said Karen Goss. “We ate here and loved it. We were obsessed. We thought the city was so quirky and different. We sat in the backseat and shared a meal, as we wanted to have enough money to donate a tip.

“Gary sat in that back cabin and said, ‘We’re going to buy this one day. I just laughed and said, “We can’t buy two dinners.” We just laughed. That was in 2008. A decade later we bought it.

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Martin and Skipper worked on establishing the restaurant’s decorations, which feature rock lyrics and memorabilia from 2Pac, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Buffett, Billy Idol and more. The pizzeria is even adorned with old records, some based on the ceiling fans.

“We wanted that ‘quirky’ feel, but inclusive and diverse,” Karen Goss said.

To honor the Bridge Street building, located on the site of the old Capital Bank, the Kids plan to keep the ATM outside the building and will sell their t-shirts and clothes in the vault of the old bank.

Football, karaoke, etc.

The Vinyl Pies management team is made up of sports enthusiasts and hopes to attract other fans to the restaurant.

“We are sportsmen, for sure,” said Karen Goss. “There’s nowhere in Hot Springs where people say, ‘We have to have the game.'”

Martin said he plans to be behind the bar serving drinks, and the Vinyl Pies team’s plan is to offer a wide variety of events to attract more customers.

“We’re going to do a lot of things where people can come,” Martin said. “A few nights a week we’re going to do something – whether it’s wing night, karaoke, Thursday night football, college football or Sunday night and Monday night football.”

From right, Vinyl Pies owners Karen and Gary Goss pose with their business partners, Ashley Skipper and Marty Martin in front of the 7,000-pound brick oven at the upcoming pizzeria, "A brick house."

The Vinyl Pies team will cook their pizzas in “Brick House”, a 7,000 pound brick oven.

“We heat with gas,” said Gary Goss. “You can do heating and wood. You can do wood only. But to maintain the temperature, we went to gas.”

Goss said the total cooking time for a pizza would take between four and six minutes.

“That’s why we went with a brick oven – you can walk in and out,” said Goss, who has worked in restaurants his entire adult life.

While the Gosses are excited to open their second restaurant in Hot Springs, the townspeople are equally excited.

Hot Springs resident Robert Tully has lived in the city for 11 years. Tully, who was born in Dublin, Ireland, and grew up in New York, said the city was very excited about the new pizzeria.

“We need pizza in Hot Springs,” he said. “They have pizza in other places here, but it’s going to be pizza. Real pizza.”

Karen Goss said the excitement and camaraderie is just another aspect of what she loves about Hot Springs.

“Another thing I love about this city is that everyone has been so supportive of me,” Karen Goss said. “I was a little worried (about the reception), but people couldn’t have been more supportive. We like to celebrate everyone in the city.”

For the latest updates, including on “The Vinyl Countdown” from the restaurant to its opening, follow Vinyl Pies Pizza on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vinylpiespizzaand on Instagram at hwww.instagram.com/vinyl_pies_pizza/.

Jack L. Goldstein