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EUREKA PIZZA’S ‘LEANING TOWER OF PIZZA’

By John Lovett // Times Record // jlovett@swtimes.com

Plans call for a "leaning tower of pizza" at the Grand Avenue Eureka Pizza in Fort Smith [Courtesy Eureka Pizza]

Eureka Pizza’s first “Leaning Tower of Pizza” is expected to be built soon during the remodel of the company’s Grand Avenue pizza restaurant in Fort Smith.

The Fort Smith Building Safety Division issued the permit to KPC LLC on May 17 for the $120,000 job that will in essence be a nod to the famous leaning tower of Pisa, Italy.

“It’s a fun way to pay homage to the land of pizza,” Eureka Pizza President Rolf Wilkin said by phone Thursday of the store at 2815 Grand Ave.

Engineering plans call for the 34-foot-tall structure to have an 8-foot diameter and lean at a 5.5-degree angle. The remodel is designed by Level B Architecture in Fort Smith. Duke Manufacturing in Fort Smith is creating the structure that will double as a drive-through window.

This was the degree of the famous tower in Pisa before it was stabilized and reset to 3.9 degrees, Wilkin noted. The engineering plans cost about $9,000, he added, with plenty of “trial and error.” A Fort Smith company will handle the metal fabrication work, Wilkin added.

“This will be the first of many leaning towers of pizza,” Wilkin said.

Original plans called for the new drive-through addition to be made from a shipping container, but that plan was scrapped once it was realized the structural integrity of the container would be weakened if used in that way.

A new lobby and parking lot are also in the works after a delay in construction from last year. Fort Smith has become a place of firsts for Eureka Pizza’s drive-through niche.

The Zero Street Eureka Pizza was the Fayetteville-based company’s first store with a drive-through. Their sales increased 50 percent when the drive-through was added.