Business Feature: City adds restaurants

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Gabriela Hernandez stretches out dough for a pizza Monday afternoon at Zeky’s Pizza. The business on Prince Street, which has been open for a week, is the building’s third incarnation as a pizza, salad and dessert buffet.

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

A pair of relatively new restaurants in Clovis has been successful by sticking with what previous tenants did.

Zeky’s Pizza, the third pizza buffet chain to take residence on Prince Street, has been in operation for a week, while the Thai Bamboo restaurant on the corner of Third and Prince streets has spent five months as the second incarnation of a Thai food restaurant.

Zeky’s General Manager Saul DeLeon said the restaurant next to the Albertson’s grocery store, for years the location of a Cici’s Pizza and previously the Pizza Palace, has been getting steady business.

“Overall, we have a good amount of people coming in,” DeLeon said. “Some people say it’s better than Cici’s.”

DeLeon said Zeky’s — named for a grandson of owner Eli Hita — tried to stick to the same formula as Cici’s and The Pizza Palace, with a buffet menu of pizza, salad and desserts.

He said customers have told him they were happy to have the restaurant back because no other business offered a pizza buffet during all hours of operation. The busiest times in the first week were Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday afternoon following most church services.

DeLeon said additions were made in the back, with an extended video gaming area.

Like Zeky’s, a key for Bamboo Thai has been good food — manager Cook Pewon said the family-owned business probably gets more than half of its customers from Cannon Air Force Base, where many personnel come from areas where Thai restaurants are plentiful.

“Good food, good service,” he said. “You’ve got to have good food. That’s the main goal.”

The business, which has none of the staff from the previous Thai Land restaurant, offers a selection of spicy Thai food and a variety of Chinese cuisine.

Pewon said there’s no one dish that’s more popular than another.

“They’re all about the same,” Pewon said.

Other restaurants are still on the way. The building on the intersection of Prince Street and Llano Estacado Boulevard, which was a Golden Corral restaurant until last winter, will become the Great Wall restaurant.

No business license has been filed, but signage advertises sushi and Chinese and American food.