To the surprise of customers, the pizzeria abruptly moved to the Heritage Apartments.

After closing for a brief time to move a short distance to the northwest, Cowtown Pizza is back in business.

But it didn't come without its share of curiosity -- and even irritation -- from hungry fans.

A Facebook campaign even demanded to know: What the heck happened?

The pizza place, which had enjoyed more than a decade of success at the corner of Grandview and Third avenues, is now located in the Heritage Apartment complex on the Northwest Side.

Owner Bobby Cooper said it was a tense couple of weeks, as he moved everything -- from the original oven and utensils to the employees -- from the Grandview Heights location to its current spot at 1420 Presidential Drive.

"It was horrible," Cooper said. "The employees were mad. I hired a company to move all the stuff here and they dragged their feet."

But the pizzeria -- which once sported a conspicuous yellow-and-red exterior -- is poised to pick up where it left off, serving its original brand of pizza that has built a loyal following.

"It has huge brand identity," he said. "You can go to Dublin. You can go to New Albany. You can still hear people talk about Cowtown. It's a name that carries."

Cooper attributes its success to dough that is hand-tossed daily, Ezzo pepperoni, Grande mozzarella and semi-sweet house-mixed sauce. There are signature pies, build-your-own options, sides, salads, stromboli and subs. Pizza by the slice also is offered.

Cooper bought the pizza place 18 months ago with William Allyn. Cooper wanted dine-in seating while Allyn had other plans, which led to an amicable parting between the two. Meanwhile, they were in negotiations with zpizza, which bought out the remainder of their lease.

"I wanted to keep Cowtown alive," Cooper said.

Cooper likes the potential at Heritage, a 750-unit apartment complex that straddles Grandview Heights and Upper Arlington. He currently operates 14 Twenty Bar & Grill, which is a separate business but shares the same space. It has seating for more than 50, five beers on tap and more than 100 by the bottle.

"I like it because I have dine-in. You can get Cowtown until 2 in the morning," said Cooper, who also operated the short-lived Savelli's Pizzeria in Heritage.

Free pizza also is offered from 7 to 8 p.m. for dine-in customers only.

In yet another twist, Cowtown is now located next to bonoPIZZA, the artisan pizzeria that also once was located in the Grandview area and moved to Heritage several months ago. That was intended to be a temporary spot while it found permanent digs elsewhere.

The pizzerias are competing side by side, at least for the time being.

Cooper said bono has a completely different pizza directed at another audience.

"It's totally different," he said.

Cowtown Pizza is open for lunch through late-night hours daily. For more information, call 614-488-4020.


Mark your calendars: Frida Katrina in Clintonville is holding a Day of the Dead festival Nov. 1.

But don't be intimated, owner Leticia Vazquez-Smith said. It's actually a celebration commemorating those who are gone.

The inconspicuous storefront flaunts items such as jewelry, pop culture clothing, paper mache and other merchandise sold to support artists in Mexico City.

But there's also a small restaurant tucked away in the back of the store, which quietly opened a year ago at 3339 N. High St., just south of North Broadway.

Smith serves all-natural Central and Southern Mexican dishes prepared from scratch, including tamales, quesadillas, stuffed cuaresmenos peppers, fish soup and cactus salad. A platter, which includes soup and a tostada, is $6.50. Fish tacos are served every Tuesday at the cafe.

Frida Katrina is open for lunch and dinner six days a week. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday. The store is closed Monday.

For more information, call 614-284-2491.