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Ha Ha Pizza owner B.J. Walters, center, opened a second restaurant in Xenia last month with help from employees Misty and John Howell.

Ha Ha Pizza owner B.J. Walters, center, opened a second restaurant in Xenia last month with help from employees Misty and John Howell.

A new Ha Ha Pizza is born in downtown Xenia

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After 40 years as a lone ranger, Ha Ha Pizza finally decided it was time for a side-kick. Last month, the restaurant that was for so long a Yellow Springs original opened a ringer in downtown Xenia across from the courthouse. Both restaurants have the same name (though servers quickly realized that clarifying the location was critical for carry-out orders) and the same menu of handmade pizzas, calzones and subs with ingredients ranging from pepperoni and banana peppers to pesto and tempeh.

“Why fix something that’s not broke?” owner B.J. Walters said of his decision to clone the restaurant he’s owned since 2005. “It worked for the first 40 years, and I hope it works for another 40.”

The Xenia site opened on March 10, after a year of renovation work installing a full kitchen, new bathrooms, flooring, equipment and furniture. While the Yellow Springs store will be the supplier, the dough for both restaurants will continue to be made fresh daily, with homemade sauce as well. Walters believes his pizza can hold its own against the slightly stiffer competition in Xenia.

“I think there’s room for my pizza — it’s an experience people have coming here and having a wholesome pizza rather than a mass produced product,” Walters said. “Ours is fresh and handmade.”

It’s been Walters’ intention since he purchased the business to eventually franchise Ha Ha Pizza. He waited patiently to pay off his original debt and save up for the current expansion. And if things go as planned, in five years, there will be another story about Ha Ha number three.

The Xenia Ha Ha’s is currently open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Walters plans to hold a grand opening soon.

Read the full story in the April 16 print edition.

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One Response to “A new Ha Ha Pizza is born in downtown Xenia”

  1. Keith Stokes says:

    Ha Ha (pun intended) I used to live in Yellow Springs until age 10 and then moved away. I remember getting Ha Ha’s when I was 9, so it must of been around 1977. My Dad just moved back last September and I visited him and we had Ha Ha’s. I can’t believe it has been 40 years and it was still there! To young to remember if I like it then, but I must say it was absolutely out of this world last week. You can sure tell the difference between fresh and mass produced products. Now I have to find a way to visit YS more often as well. Thanks Ha Ha’s.

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