Eagle Rock’s Capri Italian Restaurant has come a long way since declining business almost forced the family-run eatery to close two summers ago.
First, the Capri got a lifesaving makeover from Chef Gordon Ramsay, who featured the restaurant on the Kitchen Nightmares show.
And now, the Capri is baking pizzas every week exclusively for one of the hottest corporate accounts in Los Angeles—Disney.
Every Friday for the past three weeks, the Thiel twins who co-own the Capri deliver 60 pizzas to the Disney Interactive studio in Glendale.
The bonanza followed a competition hosted by the multi-platform video games and family content arm of the Walt Disney empire, according to Jeff Thiel. The Capri was among five restaurants invited to send in their choicest pizzas for a two-month trial period during which Disney Interactive employees voted for the top two pizzas.
According to a Disney Interactive employee, the Capri was chosen to supply pizzas to the studio, along with Two Guys From Italy, a restaurant in Glendale that also participated in the competition.
The windfall wasn’t entirely fortuitous for Capri. “About once a month, we used to get orders for food from the Disney Interactive folks,” explained Jeff, adding that last fall an employee from the studio came in for a meal and started talking to him. “She said, ‘I really love your food,’” said Jeff, referring to the employee. “And I said, cool.”
The next thing the Thiel twins knew, they were being asked if they’d like to enter the pizza competition. “We said, Sure we’ll do it—it sounds great,” said Jim.
The Capri has been delivering four varieties of pizza to the studio. Besides pepperoni, cheese and margherita, which are delivered every week, the twins make a “specialty” pizza, “which can be anything we want to serve.” Occasionally, they substitute a Hawaiian pizza for the specialty pizza.
So far, the results have been encouraging. “They’re happy with the food, and that’s the important thing,” said Jim.
The twins haven’t decided what the fourth variety is going to be when they make their Friday delivery.
Have they received any inquiries from other corporate or business entities interested in their pizzas?
“Not yet,” said Jim, who focuses more on the financial side of the restaurant’s business. “We’re waiting for people to call.”