‘The Buck stops here’: New eatery brings pizza to Florida Southern

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 Soon Florida Southern College pizza lovers may not have to order out. Construction has begun in the middle of campus for a new eatery featuring pizza by the pie and slice.

Enter The Buck Stop.

“The whole idea was to come up with something that everyone would like, another option that would really draw people,” Tim Raible, FSC’s director of food services, said.

Discussions and tests are currently underway to decide on the right recipe for dough, sauces and what toppings.

“I want it to rival local pizza shops. I don’t want it just to be a pizza,” Raible said. “Our pizza in here [Wynee’s Bistro] is good, but it’s not to rival a pizza shop.”

The Buck Stop will prominently feature a specialty pizza oven that uses natural gas. While pizza will be featured, The Buck Stop will also house the Grill Master and the Grill Master by Tutu’s will continue to operate.

The Buck Stop’s hours will be expanded to facilitate later orders of pizza. FSC President Dr. Anne Kerr believes that it will also be more convenient for students who do not have the means to go off campus for meals.

“And then there are others of you who have cars, but if you leave campus and then you come back, and you’re running a little late, and you can’t find a parking place, that kind of creates some stress. Why do that if we can offer more here that you all really like?” Kerr said, “I think that stress reduction is also good, because there’s not much we can do about the parking situation.”

Because FSC is a historical site, The Buck Stop’s architecture had to be tailored to fit the nearby buildings of JR, Spivey and the Fannin Ministry Center. The new design will incorporate elements from surrounding buildings.

“Everything has to fit in,” Raible said. “And so, even though it’s a small little venue, you would be amazed at the amount of thought gone into every brick that’s going to be there.”

The faculty was discussing the details when trouble over permitting with the Health Department in November shuffled the new eatery to the front of the school’s agenda. During the closure the Grill Master locations lay abandoned before the decision was made that the locations had to have separate permits.

After the permit situation was fixed, the Grill Master location next to Joseph Reynolds and Alan Spivey Resident halls was moved off to the side and construction began in place of the former location.

“We were teasing when we had the closure. I said, ‘Well, you know, even though it’s a Guest Services operation and it’s a contractor with the college, at the end of the day the buck stops with me,” Kerr said. “And I’ve got to get it fixed.”

Steve and Lynda Buck, the donors for the new eatery, thought that the name was “cute,” and the new eatery got its name.

The Bucks once owned Mutual Wholesale, which is now owned by U.S. Foods. The idea for The Buck Stop began when the Bucks hosted a party for FSC trustees last year. Guests were able to make their own pizzas in a pizza oven.

“And I thought that was just really terrific,” Kerr said. “Everybody loved it. So I thought, ‘I bet our students would think this is great.’”

The permitting process for The Buck Stop is a lengthy one. However, both Kerr and Raible hope that it will be open by the end of the spring semester.

“We don’t have control of that because we have to rely upon the city with the permitting, but if they’re ready, we’re ready,” Kerr said.