Tony Lane is the owner and operator of Fast Lane Auto Repair, a full-service maintenance and automotive repair center on Triplett Street. However, Lane will readily admit that his pizza restaurant experience is quite limited.
“It’s totally different than the auto business,” Lane said. “I’ve never been in the restaurant business. It’s totally 100 percent different than what I’ve been doing. All I know how to do is eat pizza,” he joked.
Given his prior experience, it might come as a surprise that Lane, along with his son-in-law, Michael Edwards, are opening Y-not Pizza & Wings in the former Diane’s Bakery location.
Lane believes that being successful means surrounding yourself with strong people, so he set about hiring the best in the business. He started with Edwards, who moved here from Morehead, Ky. with years of restaurant management experience, as well as Lane’s daughter and three grandchildren. Edwards, who will also serve as co-owner of the restaurant, moved several others to Owensboro with him “to help him do it the right way.”
Lane and Edwards then hired manager Robert Baird, hoping he would be able to offer some of his knowledge of the pizza business. When asked why they thought they could be successful with so many other pizza restaurants in town, Lane said, they planned to set themselves apart from the rest.
“We’re trying to do it different,” he said, adding that they would be using their own dough recipe, and making classic, pizza dough strombolis. The chefs will also be adding a recipe of colossal fun with the 30” party pizza.
“Anyone that can eat it gets a free shirt that says, ‘I ate the big one,’” Lane said. “And that is one huge pizza.”
The other element that is different about the business, is the name. Lane apparently has an affinity for business titles that are a play on words. His business Fast Lane Auto Repair is a reference to the speed in which he works and his last name. When asked how Y-not came to be, the answer was pretty simple.
“We started that because my name is Tony, and my name backwards is Y-not,” Lane said.
Before they knew it they had an arsenal of jokes and plays on words that just made sense for a pizza restaurant that was founded on hard work and leaps of faith. Lane said they will probably run with 10-11 employees to start, and while they were “overwhelmed with servers and cooks wanting in,” they still need a few delivery drivers.
The restaurant had its health inspection on Friday and “passed with flying colors.” The final building inspection is scheduled for Monday. Lane said the original bathrooms were not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, so they had to dig out the concrete to complete the remodel.
Once the final inspection is complete, they are planning a soft opening on Tuesday, before the grand opening on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.
With pictures already posted on social media, Lane said he gets calls daily asking when they will be opening. Overall, Lane is excited about the new venture and the team he has assembled.
“You’re only as good as the people you have working for you,” Lane said. “We have people that know how to do pizza, and it will be a great experience.”
Y-not Pizza & Wings is located at 2710 HWY 144 (270) 500-4119 Their hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. 7 days a week, offering dine-in, carry-out and delivery.