Lone Wolf Pizza Co. is a lone wolf, a one-of-a-kind place in Destin
Lone Wolf Pizza Co. truly is a lone wolf. It’s a one of kind pizza place located in Destin at the site of the old Mellow Mushroom at 960 U.S. 98, across from Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park.
Janice Snow, owner of Lone Wolf, was given the nickname Wolf from the previous owner of Mellow Mushroom, Brant Goodman, and decided to take the name and run with it.
So much so that there is a huge painting of a wolf on the restaurant wall with a butterfly off to the side. The butterfly represents Goodman, her best friend who has Parkinson’s disease.
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“There is a reason this place looks like it does,” Snow said.
The wolf represents her and the butterfly Goodman, because boxer Muhammad Ali had Parkinson's and was known for the saying “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Thus, the reason for the butterfly.
Snow met Goodman through a mutual friend in September of 2019 and they hit it off.
As their friendship grew, it wasn’t long before Goodman hired Snow as his office manager. When he introduced her to the rest of the staff, he called her Wolf after the character in the movie "Pulp Fiction," who was known for “fixing everybody’s messes,” she said.
In 2020 COVID hit and in 2021 Snow was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through a double mastectomy.
As Goodman’s health was declining, he was also coming to the end of his franchise agreement in 2022. Mellow Mushroom closed in February of this year and Snow bought the equipment and opened up almost three months later as Lone Wolf Pizza Co.
“We did the entire decorative part … changing the look ourselves,” Snow said with the help of a friends, family and three or four employees from Mellow Mushroom.
She followed the wolf theme by incorporating a huge poster on the wall of the “Tale of Two Wolves” near the bar area.
ON THE MENU
All the pizzas at Lone Wolf are hand tossed and the dough is local and can be seen flying through the air on occasion as the chefs have a little fun while preparing the pies.
The majority of the vegetable toppings are grown locally as well.
As for the pies themselves, most of the specialty pizzas on the menu follow a wolf theme and were made up by staff.
The Snow Moon pizza, which features chicken, provolone, mozzarella, goat cheese, onions, artichokes, olive oil and fresh garlic base, is a white pizza and the creation of Snow.
"I’ve always loved white pizzas,” Snow said, noting all the white toppings.
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Other pizzas include a Hunters Moon, which is a pepperoni, sausage, beef, ham and bacon pizza, and a Full Moon pizza, which includes the meats plus onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and black olives.
The Lone Wolf features prosciutto, pineapple, goat cheese, jalapenos and mozzarella.
However, Snow's favorite pizza is the Emerald Coast. This pie is topped with jerk chicken, artichokes, mozzarella and creamy spinach base.
“It’s hands down my favorite, even more than the one I made,” Snow said.
Lone Wolf also has calzones, hoagies and salads on the menu.
“We have a spinach salad, which was my Nana’s recipe. The Okami dressing is also her dressing … and Okami is wolf in Japanese. Everything kind of ties together in here,” she said.
Snow, originally from Georgia, got a degree in marketing and worked for a restaurant group in Atlanta doing everything from bartender to the front of the house and eventually office manager.
She had two children and was a stay-at-home mom for about 11 years and later moved to Montana where she lived for seven years.
While in Montana she worked a fundraising job for schools and ball teams before making the move to Destin to help out Goodman at Mellow Mushroom.
The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday and the hours varies a bit.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Lone Wolf is open 3:30-9 p.m.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, they open at 11:30 a.m. and at 9:30 p.m.
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“We’ll adjust days and times once we have sufficient staff and business,” Snow said.
Snow said people are already asking about a franchise.
Her answer, “let’s just get through the summer.”
Lone Wolf had its grand opening with the Destin Chamber of Commerce on June 2.
Snow said they actually opened at the end of April but didn’t tell anybody.
“We did it just to see who would flow in and give the staff adequate time to adjust to the new menu,” she said.
“So far, it’s good. Obviously, it could be a little bit busier, but Friday and Saturday have been the perfect amount of business for things not to fall apart,” Snow said, noting she is still a little short on staff.
Lone Wolf offers takeout and does deliveries.
“I do believe the word is starting to spread. Our food is really good … I’m not saying that because it’s mine, but my staff did a heck of a job creating a fantastic menu,” Snow said.