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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Spankey’s seeks to make Haynie’s Corner “even better”

Twelve years after opening Spankey’s Una Pizza on Evansville’s West Side, Ryan Huck was eager to set up a second location. Nathan and Noelle Mominee, meanwhile, wanted a pizza shop for their multi-use building at Haynie’s Corner Arts District, where Huck’s sister, Rachel Brown, happens to live.

Photo by Laura Mathis. Spankey’s Una Cafe launched full bar service in February.

The dots connected, and Spankey’s Una Café opened its doors in early January at 15 Jefferson Ave., Ste. 101. The restaurant added a full bar in mid-February, and Huck is introducing his una pizza to new audiences of businesspeople, residents, and those dropping in for the neighborhood’s many events and activities.

Huck says his first Spankey’s location was a trendsetter — it was the first una pizza shop to open for lunch and offer online ordering. His Haynie’s Corner location, too, is paving its own path.

“We’re trying to bring our made-from-scratch quality to a grander convenience than The Corner already has — open every day, online ordering, open for lunch, eventually open for breakfast, having a lot of different services in one spot,” Huck says.

Photo by Laura Mathis. Christina Zimmer Robinson painted the vivid murals inside Spankey’s Una Cafe.

Huck defines una pizza as cracker crust pizza with pinched meats cooked under the cheese — it is thought to have started in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. He says his own “tavern style” recipe differs slightly from similar variations in Evansville. Spankey’s menu offers pizza options of many tastes, including a Greek, a margarita, a Philly, and a chicken pesto, in addition to more common favorites like cheese, veggie, and buffalo.

Evansville Living writers on a recent visit scarfed down a Westsider — loaded with meats such as Italian sausage, beef, and pepperoni —as well as a classic stromboli from Spankey’s expansive sandwich menu. There’s also a wide range of salads; appetizers such as wings, breadsticks, and pretzel bites; and, for good measure, desserts like cannoli, cheesecake, and Greater’s ice cream.

Photo by Laura Mathis. Spankey’s Una Cafe is the latest addition to Haynie’s Corner Arts District.

Spankey’s location at Haynie’s Corner is beneath four AirBnBs on the building’s second floor and a yoga studio on the third floor. Apropos for its spot in the arts district, Huck chose modern decor bursting with color, created by Evansville artist Christina Zimmer Robinson, who he has known many years. Large vertical windows bring in ample natural light for daytime diners.

Huck, who rents his ground-floor space from the Mominees, says Spankey’s was named for his late dog, a Boston terrier with a dry personality. He was relieved to finally receive his alcohol license a few weeks after opening — he says the license is a far greater necessity at Haynie’s Corner than at his West Side location, which is in a strip center off the Lloyd Expressway.

He also says his business at Haynie’s Corner has been strong so far, especially with the liquor license in hand, and he looks forward to being a long-time presence in the arts district.

“I think it’s cool, and us being here and throwing everything we have at it is going to make The Corner even better,” Huck says.

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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