Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


April 26, 2011

TIM PRESTON: Brick oven pizza, 31 flavors and best workplace 4/24/11

ASHLAND — If you’re traveling through Vanceburg anytime soon, you may want to consider finding the recently opened Al & Arty’s Pizza for a taste of something special.

I received a note from the manager at Al & Arty’s inviting us to come and try their food, and explaining they aren’t your average pizza restaurant.

“We use a wood-fired, brick oven ... the largest in the nation to be exact! Roger Jahn, the owner, built the oven brick by brick and now we’re using it to make one-of-a-kind hand-tossed pizza,” office manager Alicia Collier wrote, later adding the name of the restaurant reflects the two distinctly different styles of pizza they craft at Al & Arty’s Pizza. Collier said anyone looking for the new restaurant wil find it on the AA Highway “right smack-dab in the middle of Ashland and Maysville.”

Al & Arty’s is open from 4 to 9 p.m. on Monday, 11 a.m. to p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Offering pickup or delivery, Collier said they are always happy to hear from people who need pizza catered for events including ballgames and get-togethers and encourages orders by e-mail sent to alicia.redbud@gmail.com or by calling (606)796-2034.

Baskin Robbins returns

Sun Ventures officially opened the new Ashland Baskin Robbins ice cream shop last week inside the Exxon Tiger Express at 3500 Winchester Ave. near the Flowers Bakery store.

The new shop will feature the Baskin Robbins brand’s famous 31 flavors along with customer favorites including ice cream cakes, fresh-baked waffle cones, Baskin Robbins soft serve and their well-known Clown Cones. In addition to bringing a favorite brand back to Ashland, Sun Ventures is also boosting the local economy by hiring 10 new staff members to run the new Baskin Robbins.

“Having a Baskin Robbins here will certainly enhance the energy and atmosphere. After all, who doesn’t love ice cream,” said Wanda Wheeler Clevenger of Sun Ventures, who made a point of expressing excitement about creating jobs at the new business. Clevenger said the shop will continue taking employment applications even if they aren’t hiring at that moment.

The Ashland Baskin Robbins will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Good pizza

While writing this week’s column, I’ve been munching on some surplus pizza from CJ Maggie’s American Grill, offered by a coworker who knows I rarely turn down free food in the office.

While I usually prefer my pizza loaded with meats, this one was a vegetarian model with three types of cheese and spinach. Even at room temperature and without so much as a single slice of pepperoni, I have to say that is one tasty entree. And, there was enough of it to share between three people (more if I hadn’t been greedy).

CJ Maggie’s, located at 1442 Winchester Ave. has one of the most diverse menus in Ashland and is certainly a favorite spot for many during lunch and dinner. They also have at least two outstanding bartenders, and it is one of only two places in the city where I’ve found you can get a decent “black-and-tan” beverage. For more information or to place an order call (606) 324-7895  

Great cupcakes

I was a bit ashamed of our collective level of suspicion when photographer John Flavell brought in a couple of boxes of cupcakes from Coldstone Creamery at Tim Horton’s before he went on vacation last week, but the man couldn’t have picked a better treat for everyone. Everyone eagerly bit into their cupcake and got an immediate look of wide-eyed wonder as they realized it wasn’t just a cupcake, but an ice cream-filled confection piled high with icing.

The funny part was roughly half of us, myself included, somehow managed to get at least a little bit of that piled-high icing directly into one or both nostrils as we nibbled the ice cream layer in the middle. You really had to be here to watch as we each tried to deal with that situation without drawing attention to ourselves.

Best places to work

There were a couple of familiar names on this year’s official ranking of the best places to work in Kentucky as measured by the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Near the top of the list in the “small/medium companies” category was Kingsbrook Lifecare Center of Ashland, which placed in the top 10 at number seven on this year’s list. The category also recognized Pikeville College at No. 25, and Martin County Health Care of Inez at No. 26 on the list.

There are also several other familiar companies on the list that have branch offices in the area. For a complete copy of the 2011 Best Places to Work in Kentucky list visit bestplacestoworkky.com on the Internet.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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