© Mark Lipczynski
The T-Bird Café has been serving mouth-watering pizzas from its wood-fired oven since 2007. The restaurant is owned by Cheryl Tupper and her husband, Gary Wallen. Here’s what Tupper has to say:
Why the name?
It’s named for my 1964 Ford Thunderbird, which is parked out front. I think the name “T-Bird” embodies an American aesthetic — an American “cool.” I always felt like Miss America when I rode in that car.
How did the café get its start?
We came here from California, and Gary built a large, dome-shaped pizza oven on the side of the building. The building dates to the 1920s; it used to be called the Eighty Niner Diner.
What makes the pizza so special?
Gary makes the dough from scratch every day. He grinds the sausage, makes the sauce and gets the vegetables from a local market. Everything’s fresh, wholesome and unprocessed.
How do you keep the locals coming back for seconds?
Peeples Valley is a wonderful, strong community, and I’ve always wanted the café to be a community center. We have a locals’ club, and if you live here, you get $2 off your pizza every time you come in. We also display works by local artists on the walls of the café. — Noah Austin
The T-Bird Café is located at 19237 State Route 89 in Peeples Valley. For more information, call 928-427-9494 or visit www.tbirdcafe.com.
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