CLOVER — Tim Harvell has spent 31 years running his Clover construction business. But he really wanted to own his own restaurant, too.
Harvell with wife Sarah and other family members have teamed up to make that dream come true. The Harvells last week opened Pop-Pop’s Blast from the Past, a malt shop-theme restaurant at 824 N. Main St., in a strip mall just north of Clover.
The restaurant serves pizza made with fresh, hand-tossed dough, Italian favorites like calzones, stromboli and lasagna, grinders, malt shop sandwiches, salads and appetizers like chicken wings and more.
Dine-in, carry out and delivery are available.
“We knew we wanted to do pizza,” said Tim Harvell, owner of Harvell Construction. “It’s a big hit with most people, if you have a good pizza.”
And Harvell believes he does. The eatery specializes in a New York-style thin crust pizza, he said, with dough that’s made fresh every day.
The Harvells said they got menu ideas from visiting other restaurants. But they credit their son-in-law, Brian Costner, who works as Pop-Pop’s head chef, with developing the menu.
“He loves to cook,” Harvell said. “He’s in heaven.”
The eatery also employs the couple’s son, Duane Harvell, and their daughter, Dawn Costner. “It’s a combined effort,” Harvell said. “It’s all family.”
Sarah Harvell said launching the business has been a lot of fun. “We’ve had a ball,” she said. “And we’re people persons. That’s been our livelihood, all our lives. We enjoy meeting the public.”
Tim Harvell said he received a lot of helpful advice about the restaurant business from Mike Frank, owner of Market Street Pizza in Cramerton, N.C.
“I just went in there one day and talked to him and told him what we wanted to do, and he has been a mentor,” said Harvell.
Harvell said the family devoted about a year to learning the ropes of the business and planning.
Harvell said the couple did some renovations to the leased restaurant space, which is decorated with metal 1950s signs that feature Elvis, “I Love Lucy,” Superman and many others.
The eatery also plays oldies music, which adds to the atmosphere. Harvell, who is also a car enthusiast, said he plans to hold a car cruise-in a couple times a year.
Jennifer Becknell • 803-329-4077