Steve Wilkinson opened his first pizza restaurant in Davis, California in February 1978. Prior to opening his first restaurant Steve was a Food Service Director of two dining commons facilities at U C Davis. Steve was influenced and mentored by Skip Williams, a close business associate and friend, who owned and operated Skip’s Place, Pizza, Etc. in Sunnyvale, California. Steve’s first restaurant in Davis, California was thus named Steve’s Place, Pizza, Etc. Steve Wilkinson and Skip Williams worked closely together in the development of their restaurants. As Steve’s three sons grew older they too played a role in the business during their high school years. Steve’s wife, Cathy, also became very involved in the bookkeeping and the financial development of the business as well.
The original Steve’s Place Pizza restaurant was a very popular pizza restaurant from the day it opened in Davis, California located in Yolo County. The great food, warm atmosphere and friendly service made it a perfect meeting place for families, students, business groups, teams and more. The Steve’s Place Pizza Etc. restaurant, which was later renamed to Steve’s Place Pizza Pasta and Grill to include pasta and other delicious items to the menu, was so popular that Steve doubled the size with an ambitious addition in 1984, which included an expanded kitchen, additional dining area and two outdoor dining patios.
From 1978 through 2002 Steve expanded his concept to 8 very successful Steve’s Place Pizza Pasta and Grill restaurants throughout the greater Sacramento region. In 2005 he made the decision to franchise his concept, sell off existing restaurants and he eventually sold the franchise company. Steve’s youngest son, Jeff, has recently leased the Davis building from his parents and has opened his own pizza business where his father first started. He has renamed the restaurant appropriately to Original Steve’s following in his family’s tradition. Jeff seeks to make this restaurant as successful as its predecessor. This won’t be hard for Jeff, as the pizza business played a major role in his upbringing and he has a great aptitude for it as well as a great love for Steve’s menu. Jeff grew up in Davis, California and graduated from Davis High School in 2001. He went on to receive a Recreation Management degree with emphasis in Resort and Lodging Administration from California State University, Chico. Steve and his wife are working with Jeff and the staff on sales building and financial controls in addition to marketing and promoting Original Steve’s in these very competitive times. Improvements in the physical plant, operational efficiencies as well as the menu and product development are on the horizon for Jeff and Original Steve’s. Stay tuned by visiting Original Steve’s web site at www.theoriginalsteves.com and its Face Book page for specials, events, fundraisers, new menu items and other developments at Original Steve’s.