Old Shawnee Pizza building deck for outdoor seating in downtown Shawnee

Old Shawnee Pizza is building a deck for outdoor seating at its restaurant in downtown Shawnee. Above, a rendering of the project.

Old Shawnee Pizza is building a deck for outdoor seating at its location in downtown Shawnee.

Located at 6000 Roger Road along the Nieman Road corridor, the family-owned restaurant is retooling operations to serve customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Old Shawnee Pizza plans to invest $125,000 in the project, which expands seating capacity and includes a fire feature, awnings, built-in seating and some landscaping, according to city documents. The business is owned by Will Walker.

The Shawnee City Council on Monday voted 6-2 to provide $45,000 in the form of a forgivable loan to assist with project costs. Councilmembers Mike Kemmling and Tammy Thomas cast the dissenting votes. Kemmling said his nay vote was on a matter of principle; he generally opposes public funding to support private construction.

The public funds come from the Shawnee Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Program, the city’s economic development fund.

The deck will be located on the west side of the restaurant and will overlook Nieman Road. Here are additional renderings of the project:

Old Shawnee Pizza must complete the deck and ensure city funds are used solely for the project.

Neighboring resident Karmen Dillon shared her opposition for the issuance of a forgivable loan for the project. She said she believes it’s too much money and that the restaurant will get more business once a nearby apartment complex is completed and open.