Marco’s fails to deliver memorable pizza


Marco's opened in July of this year

The Southerner

Marco’s Pizza, a restaurant chain from Toledo, OH, opened a month and a half ago on North Highland Ave. Marco’s was established in 1978 and is the fastest growing pizza company in the United States, based on the number of stores signed into development since 2007. Since 1978, it has grown to operate over 700 stores in 35 states and the Bahamas, India, and Puerto Rico.

Located in the heart of the Virginia Highlands, Marco’s pizza is nestled in between Tipple and Rose Co. and Surin of Thailand. Initially, I didn’t expect to see a pizza company like Marco’s in an area like this, on a street filled with charming restaurants and pubs. I decided to see if it fit in, but by the end of my meal, I realized that it didn’t add to the character of the area. Upon arrival, I was met by a beige and brown stone veneer wall, about four TV’s and a niche in the right wall which was inlaid with mirrors. It was all very clean and orderly, but I couldn’t help but listen to the one word description that kept popping up in my mind: suburban. There’s nothing wrong with a restaurant having suburban qualities, but in this case it counteracts the essence of the Virginia Highlands: urban, unique, and creative. Although the word suburban described the restaurant perfectly, I pushed it out of my mind and reminded myself that it doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as the food and service are good.

After ordering a meat lovers pizza and a Caesar salad, my brothers Charlie and Teddy, and my Mom sat and mused over a nearby Pokemon Gym. A few minutes later, my brother Charlie spilled his root beer all over our table and the floor. The napkins were next to the cashier, and as we walked up to retrieve them, I noticed that the cashier was on her phone. She didn’t make a move to help us clean the spill. After the tedious process, I finally asked her for a mop which she handed to me and returned to her phone call.

25 minutes after the incident, our pizza finally arrived, and I realized the whole restaurant was empty. This was honestly shocking, a feeling that was quickly reinforced when we realized that the pizza we ordered didn’t come with a salad. A few minutes later, an employee dropped off the salad. It was packaged in a small square plastic container, like something you would find at a Chik-Fil-A drive thru. As my mom took off the lid, she realized that they didn’t bring her a fork. The pizza was good and the salad was fine, but the service was overall very disappointing.

Walking into Marco’s was like stopping at a restaurant anywhere along a highway, and the store was very out of character in this area. That night we ate a delicious pizza and a good salad, but it just didn’t feel like we were eating in the Virginia Highlands.

While the restaurant space of Marco's Pizza was noticeably empty, I heard a multitude of phone orders
While the restaurant space of Marco’s Pizza was noticeably empty, I heard a multitude of phone orders
Marco's opened in July of this year
Marco’s opened in July of this year
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