Over the Moon Pub & Pizza is a staple restaurant in downtown Marietta, Ohio. Since 2009, former owners Claire and Michael Mullen maintained a tradition started 150 years ago from then building owner Pietro Muscari, Marietta’s original pizzaiolo. Then, last year in 2020, Mike and Lisa Walsh acquired Over the Moon Pub & Pizza to bring the business into the next phase by standing on a strong foundation of quality ingredients, locally and regionally sourced vegetables and herbs, and craftsmanship.
“Marietta is our hometown. We missed our family and friends in Marietta, and were looking for a way to move back,” said Lisa Walsh, new owner of Over the Moon.
After a job opportunity brought Mike and Lisa Walsh to South Florida for eight years, the pair were searching for an opportunity to move back to Marietta. One night, Mike and his brother had dinner at Over the Moon Pub & Pizza and an opportunity came to light.
“Owner Mike Mullen mentioned to them that he was looking to retire. We have always loved historic downtown Marietta, and thought purchasing Over the Moon and the building at 170 Front Street would be the perfect way to return home and reunite with family and friends,” said Walsh.
Mike and Lisa are both graduates of Marietta High School, one an alumnus of West Virginia University and the other Marietta College. With backgrounds in chemical engineering, sales and marketing, and elementary education, becoming restaurant owners was a certain change in pace. And, along with it, COVID-19 presented even more obstacles for the Walshes.
“Our return home wasn’t as we had imagined, thanks to COVID-19. Rather than a big family reunion and opening celebration at Over the Moon, we spent two weeks alone as recommended after our travel home on April 1st. The restaurant was only open for takeout and delivery. We were unable to open for dine-in customers until May 21st. Thankfully, most of the Over the Moon staff stayed on to help us navigate the operation of the restaurant. We’ve had a challenging start as restaurateurs, but it has been a challenging year for everyone,” said Walsh.
We cannot thank our family, friends, and the community enough for helping us get through 2020.
Owning a business in a vibrant downtown district like Marietta brings its own set of perks that offer a silver lining to the challenges of owning a business. One benefit is that downtown is already positioned to receive support from the community. The new owners of Over the Moon kept pace with the community’s spirit of generosity in the first-year operations of their business, raising over $7,700 for area volunteer fire departments, area schools, veterans, the Marietta Police K-9 unit, and cancer patients.
Mike and Lisa Walsh were also able to invest their resources into maintenance of their historic building, which is home to both their business and their family.
“Through Marietta Main Street’s Build Up Marietta program, we received a matching grant to repair and upgrade our façade and storefront. We had all the bricks repointed and wood trim repaired and painted. We added a new metal sign flanked by paintings representing Marietta history, created by our daughter Mallory,” said Walsh.
When any business changes hands in ownership, changes are expected. New façade improvements and storefront signage were met with new additions to the menu, already full of food so many folks have come to love. Items new to the Over the Moon menu include German Pizza, Beer Barrel Tater Tots, and Apple and Cherry Tarts. The new owners also added recycling, reducing their trash by half. Beer lovers will be happy to find expanded beverage options with Old Bridge Brewing Co. craft beer from McConnelsville, OH and numerous new IPAs.
Moving forward into 2021, Lisa and Mike Walsh plan to continue to provide delicious, quality food in a clean and fun environment.
“We cannot thank our family, friends, and the community enough for helping us get through 2020. Having this support is what makes Marietta so special. We have been grateful for the support of our family and the community, as well as God’s protection and blessings over our employees and business,” said Walsh.
Learn more about Over the Moon Pub & Pizza by calling 740-373-4000 or via their website moonpizza.net.