Welcome to #QuirkyOhio, our 2017 blog series highlighting Ohio’s odd, unusual and downright wacky experiences, places and events. Follow along as we profile some of the quirkiest parts of the state!
Earlier this summer, I spent a long weekend near Lake Erie with a friend, and we made sure to visit one of her family’s favorite local haunts before returning home: the Covered Bridge Pizza Parlor in North Kingsville.
Covered Bridge Pizza is a classic small-town pizza place, with family recipe dough made fresh daily, their own special blend of spices for the sauce and a variety of desserts and sides (including a bowl of spaghetti, because who doesn’t love pasta AND pizza?). So what is it that makes the place quirky? The entire restaurant is literally inside of an old covered bridge!
Ashtabula County, where the pizza parlor is located, is known for its covered bridges — there’s even a festival dedicated to them — but over the years, many were taken down to be replaced with safer, more modern bridges. When the Forman Road Bridge was auctioned off in 1972, the owner of Covered Bridge Pizza bought the entire 55-ton bridge for $5, painstakingly dismantled the wooden structure and reassembled it to create two restaurants, with half the bridge residing in North Kingsville, and the other half in Andover.
Visiting the restaurant today, booths and tables line the inside of the bridge, and while waiting for your food, you can admire the original lattice design, built with local lumber in 1862, now covered in carvings from the many local high schoolers who have spent their weekends here over the past 30 years.
If you’re looking for a great fall weekend trip, visit Ashtabula county to take a tour of the covered bridges, do a little leaf peeping as the trees change color — and make sure you stop for lunch at one of the delightful and delicious Covered Bridge Pizza locations!
What’s your favorite quirky eatery in Ohio? Let us know in the comments!