Thirteen years ago, Larry Emmett and Michael Parker were traveling through Mississippi on their way to New Orleans from visiting friends in Nashville. On that fateful day, their car broke down. With little money and a car that could only move 40 mph, the two decided to take up residence in Jackson, and the city hasn't been the same since.
After a string of jobs ranging from IHOP to Schimmel's, the two opened the Pizza Shack on State Street. The Pizza Shack is a great neighborhood joint in Belhaven, with everything you could want for a casual night out. There's outdoor seating, great food, a wide variety of imported and domestic beers (including, importantly, Lazy Magnolia) on tap and in bottles, wireless Internet and TVs everywhere. Cheap beer specials on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays make an enticing ploy for some time out of the house.
The Pizza Shack opened in March of 2006, and prides itself on getting vegetables and other fresh ingredients from the Farmers' Market whenever possible, which makes an already tasty pizza even more delicious. In addition to pizza, the Pizza Shack also offers sandwiches, subs, sides, salads and wings. If you're not in the mood for pizza, the pulled chicken barbeque on a bun is a fantastic alternative.
"We opened up here in Jackson because it was just the perfect area," Emmett said. Parker and Emmitt love that Millsaps and Belhaven Colleges are close by, along with local hospitals. They wanted there to be more restaurant options in the area for neighborhood residents, students and employees to be able to walk out to lunch or dinner, and that's exactly what they've accomplished.
Not formal by any means, Pizza Shack is kind of a dive—but in a good way. Parker and Emmett (both Belhaven residents) can be seen there often, and the work of local artists (usually for sale) is prominently featured in the décor.
"We love the Belhaven community and wanted to see it revitalized," Parker said. "The community has been really supportive of us and the restaurant."
Thank goodness Emmett and Parker's car broke down 13 years ago, because State Street wouldn't be the same without the fun and delicious addition of the Pizza Shack.
I got a veggie pizza there for lunch once, and it was GOOOOOOOD. Hope to go back eventually.
i STILL have not tried this place, and i'm kicking myself in the booty right now for that. soon... very soon...
- music chick
Don't dilly-dally, Andi. Baptist Hospital employees are hip to the place already since it's across the street.