Pasquale’s Pizza and Pasta has been serving slices and gourmet sandwiches in Boaz for more than 50 years. While the same signature flavor will always stay the same, owner Alan Hales said he was excited about the restaurant’s new design.
With the help of Suzanne Vann, a local artist and family friend of the Hales, the dining area of Pasquale’s has been transformed and given new life. Black walls, with natural wood trim, features depictions of the restaurant’s famous menu items, all painted by Vann. Vann has taught art classes at Boaz City Schools, painted murals and has become well-known across Sand Mountain for her talent, but Hales said she exceeded his expectations.
Alan’s wife, Bromleigh, said the wood walls were beige and bland before. When it came time to refresh the walls’ paint in May, Bromleigh said she thought black would look good after seeing other restaurants’ style; Alan was skeptical.
“This building was built in like the 40s, so there’s only so much you can do,” Bromleigh said. “Because if you do one thing, then you realize this is connected to that … but anyway, we needed to paint really badly. So I chose black.
“[Alan] had a whole freak out moment when the first wall went up,” Bromleigh said. “He went home.”
“I couldn’t really see where they were going with it, and it just – I needed to see the first set of walls like to be painted and finished out before I could visualize and everything be OK,” Alan said. “When it was just plain black, I didn’t like it because it was too monochromatic.”
“He didn’t like it until Suzanne came in,” Bromleigh said.
Once Vann started her work, Alan knew it was the right decision. Per Bromleigh’s request, Vann painted different menu items. She figured “if we put menu stuff on the walls, it would make people think, ‘Hey, there’s more than just the buffet.’”
Alan said the project took nearly one month to complete. Instead of gutting the entire dining area, they chose to keep some materials and incorporate them into the design.
“That was a nostalgia thing,” Alan said. “The wood had been there so long I didn’t want to get rid of it, so we actually took it to a cabinet shop and re-planed all the wood back down to fit this design. It was keeping all the same stuff, but nobody technically knows that except for us.”
There are future plans to replace the booths, tables and chairs, but besides its design, Pasquale’s will not undergo drastic changes elsewhere. Alan said it’s important to keep the nostalgic features that have made the restaurant so successful since 1967.
“Even though what a lot of the customers say that it’s the same, you can’t always stay exactly the same,” Alan said. “These small changes bring – it’s not like it brings renewed excitement. It’s just a little bit of a change to an old place that kind of changes the scenery.”