After Mathew Wild added pizza and chicken wings to the menu of his family's Genesee Center frozen yogurt shop, Wild for yogurt, his business quadrupled. That's when he knew Wild for yogurt had to change. Almost two years later, that change is complete: Wild's Eats & Sweets, now located down the hall of Genesee Center toward the corner of South and Genesee streets. The new restaurant is 2,700 square feet to the yogurt shop's 1,200, and includes two sit-down dining areas, one with a door so it can host private parties.
"The menu is going to get bigger, but it's generally going to be the same products," he said. "I can get real creative now."
Wild said design work on the new restaurant began in October 2016. He and his father, David, started building it in April. The space previously held two locker rooms that had to be removed, but aside from plumbing, electric and the installation of a window facing South Street, the father and son completed the renovation themselves, Mathew said. He called its look "upscale yet rustic."
"Essentially it's a pizzeria with a little upscale look," he said.
The space provides Wild's Eats & Sweets not only more size but more visibility, Mathew said. Being open until 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, he continued, he'll be in a position to draw the downtown area's nightlife crowds who want pizza or wings. Mathew said he'll have street signage installed this week, and "you're going to know I'm here."
Now, Wild has been hearing people clamor for his pizza as he prepares to open Wild's Eats & Sweets. Whether it's slices at the counter or pies for delivery, a private party there or catering elsewhere, he knows his new restaurant serves something for everyone, in every season. Food service may be tough, Wild said, but the thrill of entrepreneurship keeps him going.
"Running a business is exactly what I want to do," he said. "It's been a heck of a journey."