WATSONTOWN — On Oct. 20, 1969, Buzz Reynolds opened the doors to a new Watsontown business which he expected to operate for about one year.
Fifty years later, Buzz’s Pizza and Subs continues to serve a variety of food items, all prepared from scratch at the Eighth Street business.
“I’m a butcher by trade,” Reynolds said. “The state came along with regulations. We couldn’t comply. All the little butcher shops closed.”
Out of work, Reynolds was getting a haircut when he learned a vacant sub shop located across from the barbershop was in need of a new owner.
“(My barber) said ‘why don’t you start up a sub shop?’” Reynolds recalled. “’We need a good steak sub.’”
While he was a butcher by trade, Reynolds said the only food he knew how to prepare was a peanut butter sandwich.
“I thought I would open up shop for a year,” Reynolds said. “I had no plan of going any longer than a year. But business got good. We just stayed at it.”
He credits George Heim, who had worked at a sub shop which had previously been located in Watsontown, with helping him start the business.
“He knew what we need to buy and what we needed to make the subs,” Reynolds said. “This wasn’t my idea of fun.”
The business moved to its current location 49 years ago and has become a family affair over the years.
“My wife (Millie) was totally against this,” Reynolds said. “She jumped right in (and helped).”
Reynolds, who turned 83 on Sunday, noted that his son Dave Reynolds has primarily taken over preparing the many food items served from the business. Buzz is still at the business daily.
“He’s a better cook than I am,” Buzz said, of his son.
While he helped out in the early years, Dave said he’s been with the business regularly since 1999.
“Everything is made from scratch,” Dave said. “My mother has been my biggest influence.”
He noted that items are constantly being added to the menu and describes his coconut cream by as “to die for.”
Dave also pointed to one of the sub shop’s newer menu items, called “The Trump Tower.”
When the sandwich was new to the item, Dave said it was in need of a name, which was created by a customer.
“When (the customer) saw the sandwich he said ‘that looks like the Trump Tower, it’s so big,’” Dave recalled. “We sell a bunch of them. That sandwich is almost two pounds.”
The Reynolds said the business will celebrate its 50th anniversary today through Wednesday.
“We will give 10% off of everybody’s (bill) total,” Dave said. “We will have some drawings for pizza and subs.”