JACKSON, WY — Owning a business — in general, but especially in Jackson — is incredibly hard work.
But it’s also rewarding, says restaurant owner Tom Fay. Fay owns Moe’s Original Bar B Que and Pinky G’s Pizza, both of which won awards in this year’s “Best of Jackson Hole.” Pinky G’s came first. Fay opened the door to the pizzeria under the Pink Garter Theatre eight years ago, and has won “Best Pizza” every year since.
Fay jokes that the gold medals make the work worth it. But in reality, it’s the community he serves that keeps him going. And he tries to give back as much as he can.
Pizza is comfort food, Fay says. It’s appropriate for almost any scenario, be it a celebration or a moment of strife. “We always try to be there for nonprofits, fundraisers, local families that have suffered injuries, deaths, whatever it may be. We’ll be there to help support,” Fay says. “It’s easy for us to give out pizzas. Eight or 16 slices can help feed the masses.”
As a restaurant owner, Fay says he does it all. “You learn all facets of the business, from cooking, customer service, electrical, plumbing, and everything in between.” That’s what makes it so hard, but also what makes it fun.
“I like that every day is different,” Fay says. “You can wake up in the morning with a plan of attack, and the second you show up, everything can change in an instant. It’s rewarding because it’s never the same.”
A lot has changed in Pinky G’s eight years. The little pizzeria has evolved from a popular late-night bar/bite spot, to a popular dinner hub, and now to a lunch favorite. Late night is now the slowest time of day, Fay says. Pinky G’s is still a popular late-night stop — it’s the only place in town to eat after 11 p.m. — but Fay has worked hard to position Pinky G’s as a family-friendly, laidback, neighborhood establishment. And it’s worked.
“We’re able to provide a place that’s laidback for friends and families to come chill in a space that isn’t pretentious,” he says.
To win “Best Pizza” for the 8th year in a row “means everything,” Fays says. “It just goes to show how much support you have, and that we’re a local establishment. It shows we’re putting our foot down and being part of the community.”
Fay’s favorite pizza? Probably the Meatball Parm, a pizza that Fay created with Guy Fieri’s (yeah, the Guy Fieri) help when Fieri visited for an episode of his show “Triple D.” The classic Abe Froman pizza takes a close second. “It’s so simple but so good over and over again,” Fay says.
Fay’s favorite businesses in town besides his own? He’s always hosting meetings at The Wort’s Silver Dollar Bar & Grill, which he enjoys because there’s always a “pretty equal mix of locals and visitors, which makes it fun.” He also loves Fine Dining as a whole, D.O.G, Thai Plate, and China Town. “I can’t tell you I have a favorite,” he says.