Interview: Vernetta Lopez for Roundhouse Pizza, Bar & Grill

Why did you decide to start this restaurant?
It’s actually a dream come true for my husband and I! We love hosting parties, and we love the venue that we’ve got, especially since I grew up in the area—since 1978—plus we got married at the beautiful carpet grass lawn next to us at Rider’s Lodge. So it’s really like coming home.

How did you come up with the name RoundHouse?
We were trying for the longest time to find a good name, which had special meaning to Wayne. I asked him what the name of the very first pub he ever visited was—since this restaurant-pub was going to be his first—and it was “RoundHouse”, a pub back in England where he grew up! We both looked at each other and just knew it was perfect for us.

How long have you wanted to start a restaurant?
For Wayne, forever! For me, I’ve always had an idea of something to do with giving people a place to chill or relax but I never really focused on it and when my hubby mentioned this, it felt right!

How much say did you have in the menu?
I left that to my husband and the chef. But they came up with a dish that represents me: The Loco Lopez: A pizza with jalapenos, chilli padis, and salami. Now, how do those and the “Loco” represent me? I’ll leave it to your imagination.

What was the most challenging or surprising thing about starting a restaurant?
Painting chairs! If you’ve noticed, the chairs are a very relaxing turquoise and white combination and we sprayed them ourselves. I now have a new skill. We’ve had a wonderful response to the new colors and we’re absolutely thrilled that people love just chilling out here and enjoying the atmosphere.

Vernetta Lopez is one of the owners of RoundHouse Pizza, Bar & Grill.