The expression “Change is good” is a sentiment and practice that has proven successful for Vic’s Pizza, a southeast Lincoln eatery offering something different in its pizza creations.
Vic’s – part of the GroundUP Restaurants company that includes the innovative Honest Abe’s – opened in early 2022 on the site of sibling GroundUP’s Sebastian’s Table.
According to Beth Kempf, chief hospitality officer for GroundUP, COVID-19 stifled indoor dining-in restaurants as well as Sebastian’s Table’s tapas menu, which involved sharing dishes. A change to pizza was determined to be a better option for carryout and delivery. As the pandemic moderated, inside dining was added.
Kempf explains that Vic’s offers pizza concepts that are outside the box.
“Vic’s pizza concept has two different elements – unique flavor combos and a dough that is different from any other pizza dough. The time and effort of the dough process features a three- to four-day rising process, resulting in a thick crust on the pizza, but with a light and fluffy flavor.
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There are eight choices under Appetizers including Sebastian’s Brussels Sprouts ($11.95), yes … a carryover from Sebastian’s Table. The other options are Spinach and Gouda Dip ($9.95), Smashed Crispy Red Potatoes ($8.95), Charcuterie ($14.95), House Bread ($5.95), Chips and House Salsa ($5.95), Roasted Tomato Dip ($7.95) and Meatballs ($8.95).
Brown Sugar and Bacon Sticks are $16.45, with Vic’s Sticks costing $15.95. House Garden or House Caesar salads are $7.95 entree/$13.95 family. Boneless or Bone In Wings are available in Traditional Buffalo, Honey Buffalo, Original BBQ, Magik Sauce and Garlic Parmesan ($9 to $15 for snack/$16 to $27 for full).
Vic’s nine Signature Pizzas are the restaurant’s keystones and cost $17.95 for a 12-inch medium and $27.95 for a 15-inch large. The first four choices include the Stamp Collector (house red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, caramelized onions, Italian sausage, meatballs, smoky mushrooms, black olives and roasted garlic cream cheese); Breakfast for Mr. Jones (sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, mozzarella, tater tots and sharp white cheddar); The One with Pineapple (house white sauce, BBQ sauce, pulled pork, pineapple, mozzarella, jalapeno cream cheese and tropical jerk sprinkle); and Meatasaurus Rex (house red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, bacon and hamburger).
Closing out the Signature pizzas are The Nebraska Pizza Massacre (peanut butter sauce, roasted corn, pickled apples, mozzarella, red onion, broccoli, sweet potato fries and corn bread streusel); Clever Mushroom Pun (house white sauce, mozzarella, smoky mushrooms, fresh arugula, truffle oil and Swiss cheese); The Gunslinger (BBQ sauce, pulled pork, caramelized onions, jalapenos, roasted garlic cream cheese); BBQ Chicken Obligation (BBQ sauce, onions, mozzarella, smoked gouda and chicken nuggets) and Signature Cheese (house red sauce, mozzarella, feta, cream cheese and parmesan).
Standard pizzas and Build Your Own options are also available. Classics like pepperoni, cheese, house veggie, pepperoni cream cheese, hamburger and sausage cost from $14 to $25.50 depending on size.
The Build Your Own base cost is $14 medium/$22 large with veggie, protein and cheese choices costing extra.
The Stamp Collector, Meatasaurus Rex, Sebastian’s Brussels Sprouts and the Brown Sugar and Bacon Sticks are the most popular items on the menu, according to Kempf.
She says that the restaurant’s cook team generates the unique recipes, spending time in creating the Signature pizzas, experimenting and testing the product before it is ever added to the menu.
Vic’s shares space with GroundUP’s Eleanora, a cocktail lounge. Vic’s and Eleanora are named after the grandparents of GroundUP co-owners Erik Hustad and Gabe Lovelace. Vic’s has two entrances – the west one for carryout and dine-in, and the east for dining, the bar and Eleanora.
Vic’s also offers a salad bar and pizza buffet with rotating selections (Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) in its ballroom area, which is also available for event bookings.
With a casual but classy atmosphere, the restaurant welcomes lunch customers consisting of professionals, business staff, general workers and families, with the evening diners being families, large groups and couples on date nights.
“Vic’s food and atmosphere are special,” says Kempf. “If someone is looking for someplace different and welcoming, there are not many places like Vic’s anywhere else in Lincoln. It’s one of a kind.”