PORTLAND, Ore. -- The pizza professionals at Pizza Jerk in Portland were hard at work on Wednesday.
They were busy preparing to reopen the pizzeria on Thursday morning.
The restaurant, located at 5028 NE 42nd Avenue, has been closed since June. An electrical fire shut down the popular pizza joint.
“It's a lot like home. Everyone has really grown close before the fire and then through the fire I think, a lot closer,” said Lisa Fliege, who is a cook at Pizza Jerk.
Staff say they're grateful for all the help they received from the community and other restaurant owners.
“We managed to get pretty much all our staff temporary employment during the fire or during the downtime all our friends, who own restaurants just kind of opened their doors to us and our staff. So that was amazing,” said Tyler Hauptman, a manager at Pizza Jerk.
“No one's competition, everyone's always willing to step in and help each other out so that means a lot,” said Fliege.
The restaurant's reopening probably means a lot to pizza lovers too.
While the pizza place has been recognized locally for its great pies, they've also received national attention. Bon Appetite Magazine labeled Pizza Jerk the best new pizza joint in America this year.
“I think we're not afraid to try anything you know,” Fliege said.
Between that and their dedication to pizza perfection, it looks like Pizza Jerk will be just fine when doors reopen.
“Pizza is life and life is pizza,” chuckled Fliege.