BY SHERI TRUSTY
A 2009 Danbury High School graduate and military veteran, Stephen Brooks, has purchased Sloopy’s, Port Clinton’s popular pizza shop that made a name for itself with unique options like hibachi pizza. Brooks offers the same Sloopy’s recipes that locals love.
“Everything is exactly the same. The bread is the same. The red sauce is the same,” Brooks said.
Brooks said he is offering a few new sandwiches to keep the menu fresh, and the shop offers limited-time specialty pizzas. The featured pizza for January and February is Orange Chicken Pizza.
“We have pizza, calzones, sandwiches, salads and hibachi dinners. The dinners include fried rice, grilled chicken and vegetables with our homemade yum yum and oyster sauce,” Brooks said.
Brooks purchased the shop with little cooking experience but the strong work ethic he learned in the Marines.
“The former owners told me you don’t have to know pizza. You can learn pizza. You just have to work hard and show up every day. I knew I could do that,” Brooks said. “I’ve got great people working here. We’re all learning together and getting better and better.”
Brooks said the Lakeside Sloopy’s has closed permanently, but he will focus on the Port Clinton pizza shop, where he is living his dream of being a small business owner.
“I’ve been wanting to work for myself for a long time,” he said. “I never pulled the trigger on it, and then this opportunity presented itself.”
After serving in the Marines, Brooks “moved from place to place,” he said, until returning to Marblehead in 2017. He was glad to be home.
“I definitely missed the area. I lived a lot of places, and there’s really nothing like this,” he said.
Brooks lives in Marblehead with his wife, newborn twin daughters and 11-year-old son, who can occasionally be seen helping out at Sloopy’s. Brooks is thankful he can raise his family in his hometown by Lake Erie.
“I’ve lived by the ocean. I’ve lived by smaller lakes. This is the best of both worlds,” he said. “There’s nothing quite like the lake.”
Sloopy’s is located at 226 Madison St. in Port Clinton. For more information, call 419-732-3553 or visit www.sloopyspizza.com.