New owners renovating 54 Pizza locations, adding new leadership 

April 6, 2024 | 12:14 am

Updated April 8, 2024 | 11:55 am

Eddie and Donna Goodwin recently purchased 54 Pizza Express, an Owensboro icon for more than 35 years. The previous owner, Cindy Tong, first opened the KY 54 location in 1988 when commercial space on the now-bustling highway was far and few between. 

Eddie Goodwin said they had attended church with Tong for several years and always told her to let them know if she ever decided to sell or retire. She did exactly that.

Both locations — 3103 Alvery Park Drive East and 1700 Starlite Drive — are undergoing a minor rebrand, as the new leadership is removing “Express” from the name, updating the logo, and more.

“Our ownership represents an 18- to 20-year-old dream coming to life,” Goodwin said. “We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to build on the already established success. We look forward to continuing the family environment and offering the same great food at both locations.”

The east location is currently closed for renovation, while the west remains open for orders. However, that will change soon as the family also plans to improve the west side location.

Brent Narhi will assume the manager role at the east location. Nahri relocated to Owensboro from Michigan 4 years ago and enters the position after several years working on electrical and home remodeling projects. 

Narhi has previous experience in a veteran family-owned bakery, working in the deli, and promoting third-generation family recipes. He said he is a coffee enthusiast, outdoorsman, and former competitive dirt bike racer. 

“I’m looking forward to working with the 54 family and the Goodwin crew,” Narhi said. “I can’t wait to get to know the loyal customers and hopefully attract some new ones. This is an awesome place to get pizza.”

Goodwin’s son, Jonathan, will manage the west location. Jonathan is a Daviess County native and Kentucky Wesleyan College alumni with vast kitchen experience. He assisted his family business for most of his life by serving over 100 hospitality guests at multiple events. 

He is a member of the Owensboro Symphony Choir, loves traveling, and is an avid local cricket player. He enters the restaurant industry after working extensively in banking and logistics. 

“The community support has been incredible, and we know we have some big shoes to fill,” Jonathan said. “We’re looking forward to offering great customer service with high-quality food.”

Jonathan added that there’s always room for improvement, and he looks forward to customer input. His brother Andrew will assist him at the west location.

“We are blessed to have Brent and Jonathan at the helms. Both of them are men of high integrity, committed to the mission and core values of the 54 families, especially their safeguarding of the stellar quality of our ingredients and food selections,” Eddie Goodwin said. “Their unswerving commitment to customer service and vision to grow their teams in skill, versatility, and leadership development will be second to none.”

Over the past three-plus decades, the menu has evolved from pizza and a few sandwiches to now include pizza, over 25 sandwich options, breadsticks, and wings. The Goodwins don’t plan to change any of the recipes, but like Tong, they are open to patron suggestions for new menu items. 

“54 Pizza is where you become family,” Goodwin said. “We want to celebrate this town and who we are at 54 Pizza. These recipes and techniques have been perfected over generations. We’re committed to providing a variety of premium ingredients to give you the best-tasting pizza possible.”

April 6, 2024 | 12:14 am

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