WACO, Texas — Weezer, mountain biking and a dare.
Those three things have led the popular Slow Rise Slice House in Woodway to open up a new location on the Brazos River, taking the place of the old Manny's on the River.
The co-owners of Slow Rise actually had the idea for the restaurant after seeing Weezer in concert in New York City. While there, the love for the famous New York slice sparked an idea.
After finding a location, Slow Rise in Woodway opened and has been successful over the last few years. But as co-owner Brett Swartz mountain-biked near Cameron Park and the Brazos River on an everyday basis, conversations about the vacant restaurant building were sparked.
"We like dares and this was a pretty good dare," Swartz said about opening the restaurant. "It seats close to 425 people which is about double what Woodway seats, so we just have to make sure we have kitchen and a staff that can handle rushes of four, five hundred people."
They hope to have the location opened up to the public April 11 or at least during that week. The restaurant could have opened last fall but shortages and a flood delayed the process.
The restaurant will sit directly on the river across from Cameron Park at 1620 N Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. It has a large indoor dining room and ample seating outside with numerous decks and patios.
"It's exciting every time we walk back here," Swartz said. "Walking back on the patio, hanging lights, putting up plants, you realize you’re somewhere fun. We'll have bands right behind us playing, probably every weekend."
He says the biggest issue may be parking, citing a small lot on a street that doesn't make for the best traffic flow. However, the patios come loaded with 15 docking ports for boats, kayaks, and other water vehicles.
Swartz hopes that people will take advantage of biking and scooters to come grab a slice of pizza and enjoy the view.
The project is seemingly the first to hang an open sign on the river that will bring thousands to Waco every year when Baylor University opens the Foster Pavilion and riverfront project on the other side. Swartz believes that their restaurant could motivate others to start looking at the river as an opportunity.
"I don't see how this side of town or direction would do anything but develop.”
On Saturday, they will hold a hiring party to staff employees from 12 pm to 5 pm at the restaurant.