Thursday , June 26, 2014 - 2:16 PM
Restaurants are great places for socializing. No one knows this better than Deb Evans, who opened her first restaurant in 1989 to help her get out of her house and meet people.
Her connections to the industry go way back. Her father, John Hopkin, ran Hopkin’s Café in Morgan for about 60 years, closing the doors in 1990. He also opened Jay’s Drive In in Morgan, now operated by a different owner as Steph’s Drive In.
When Evans was young, she and her siblings worked in their dad’s cafe.
“We made shakes, malts, banana splits and sundaes and waited the tables,” she said. “Whenever dad took a few minutes off, we could cook too.”
As a young adult, Evans attended school to be a hairdresser, a job she still keeps up on the side. She and her husband moved to Wyoming for his work, but he passed away.
“I moved back to Morgan,” Evans said. “I was doing hair in my home. I decided I needed to get out and be around more people. My dad told me I was crazy, but I wanted to do it. So, I opened it. And I am crazy, but I get to meet a lot of people and it is really fun.”
She ran her first restaurant in her hometown for 12 years, and closed down in 2001.
“When 9/11 happened, it was like the world stopped,” Evans said. “People stopped coming in and I got worried. So, I closed down for about 5 years.”
In 2005, the building where her dad once ran Hopkin’s Café became available. The family still owned the space, and had rented it out to other businesses. Evans decided it was time to re-open Deb’s Spicy Pie.
Her daughter Emberlee Evans works with her.
“She is my mainstay. I depend on her a lot,” Deb Evans said.
In the beginning, she offered pizzas, subs and salads, but found she needed to expand to include pastas, fish n’ chips, hot dogs and even gyros to keep customers interested since there are only a few restaurants in Morgan.
All of her pizzas and sandwiches can be prepared gluten-free, and she also has gluten-free hot dog buns.
Some of the most popular pizzas include the Supreme ($10.99/8-inch), with pepperoni, ham, sausage, mushrooms, black olives, green olives, bacon, onions, green peppers, pineapple, jalapenos and fresh tomatoes; the BLT ($7.75), baked with pepperoni, bacon and sausage with mayonnaise and fresh tomatoes added after it comes out of the oven; and the BBQ ($6.50), a new take on an old favorite with white sauce, barbecue sauce, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, pineapples and chicken.
“It has a lot of flavor. If people request it, we can just put the chicken on it instead,” Evans said of the barbecue pizza.
Deb’s Special Sandwich ($3.80/6-inch), comes with ham, turkey, sprouts, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, guacamole, oil and vinegar on a toasted bun.
“That is a really good sandwich,” she said.
Salads are also big sellers, such as the taco ($4.89/small), made with Doritos, taco meat, cheese, tomatoes and salsa over lettuce.
In the winter, Evans prepares homemade soups ($3.50-$5.50), but in the summer her ice cream treats ($3-$5) are the star of the show, and include floats, sundaes, old-fashioned sodas, malts, shakes and banana splits. The diner offers 16 flavors of Farr’s ice cream, as well as soft-serve.
“In the restaurant business, it becomes more of a hobby than anything,” Evans said. “I don’t know how my dad ever did it. He opened at 5 in the morning and didn’t close until 11 o’clock at night. The restaurant is my life. I don’t go on vacations or take days off. But I don’t mind it because I love it.”
Deb’s Spicy Pie
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