Not just for pizza faces

Hank Johnson makes the pizza real fresh for $1.30 a slice at Boulevard Pizza.

Hank Johnson makes the pizza real fresh for $1.30 a slice at Boulevard Pizza.

Photo By David Robert

Teens today need good, activity-friendly places to meet with their peers. They need places that are easy to find and offer teen essentials like food and, well, food. To curb voracious appetites before the big weekend party, or simply during lunch, many teens look to Boulevard Pizza, also called Chuck’s Boulevard Pizza after owner Chuck Koehler. It satisfies the need to feed, and, with cheap prices and decent food, it brings people back for more. For the reader’s convenience, we’ll judge the restaurant on a scale of 1 to 10.

First, the location. Boulevard Pizza is a pretty easy place to find, between Godfather’s Pizza and Sparks High, but locating a parking spot can be tricky. Chuck’s is crammed into a shopping center with many stores that all share a tiny parking lot. If you’re headed out for pizza on a Friday night, it would be best to get there early.

The atmosphere at Chuck’s Boulevard is like that of a sports bar, with an arcade, a bar in the back and various banners promoting alcohol. The overall cleanliness and tidiness of the restaurant earn a 5 on our scale. The eating area is a far cry from your mom’s kitchen, although remember, as longtime Sparks locals say, that Boulevard Pizza was the first pizza parlor built in Sparks back in the late ‘60s, so it’s older than most other pizza joints around town.

Service at Boulevard Pizza is polite and quick, but it might take a minute or two to be noticed, that is, if you refrain from yelling into the back. The menu has a large selection; Chuck’s doesn’t just serve pizza. They have chicken, salads, breadsticks, a number of appetizers and, even better, you can design your own pizza toppings! How cool is that? Chuck’s also has some easy prices to go with the food. A six-topping large pizza (that’s 16 total slices for you hungry Joes) is $20.42. Not bad considering six toppings. Drinks are a steal, too; it’s $1 for a medium drink, and you get all the refills you want. The selection, service and price at Chuck’s Boulevard Pizza score 8 out of 10.

There’s a five to 10 minute wait for food at Chuck’s depending on what you get and how big you get it, primarily because all the food is cooked fresh. The pizza is kind of thin and, like most pizzas, it’s greasy, not the kind of thing you want if you’re looking out for your complexion, but it tastes excellent despite this. We didn’t get a chance to try everything, but word has it that the wings at Chuck’s are good, too. Overall, Boulevard Pizza gets 6 out of 10 for food quality.

It’s also pleasing to know that Chuck’s contributes to the community. It sponsors three local Pop Warner teams and, at a coach’s request, will lend itself out for the team, offering free drinks to the players and the use of the big screen TVs to review their games. Furthermore, for Sparks High kids, Chuck’s Boulevard Pizza offers a lunchtime deal of one slice of pizza for $1.30, a pretty thrifty alternative to most school lunches.

Myles Etcheberry and Alisha Funkhouser are students at Spanish Springs High School.