New restaurant Sweet Lew’s is bringing family-friendly dining and New York-style pizza to downtown Paso Robles.
The eatery’s owner wants to differentiate his establishment from most of the other restaurants that occupy spaces around Downtown City Park, many of which are more upscale or targeted at wine-tasters.
“We kind of take the idea of your neighborhood pizza parlor and gourmet it,” Sweet Lew’s owner Tim Lewis said. “People are not expecting the quality of food they’re getting here.”
Sweet Lew’s, which opened in a second-story space at 1108 Pine St. in mid-August, serves up pizza, wings and salads just across from Downtown City Park.
Laid-back dining in downtown Paso Robles
Lewis moved to Paso Robles from the Central Valley in 2016 when his wife got a job on the Central Coast. Sweet Lew’s is his second restaurant; he also runs The Planing Mill Artisan Pizzeria in Visalia.
Lewis said he thought up the name for his Paso Robles restaurant while listening to the Pearl Jam song “Sweet Lew.” The moniker also works well with his last name, he said.
Sweet Lew’s features pictures of famous Lewises from throughout history, including explorer Merriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition and basketball legend Kareem Abdul Jabar, who was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.
The main dining room features televisions for watching sports games, and customers can also eat outdoors on the restaurant’s porch.
Sweet Lew’s decor is laid-back with a 1980s feel. Customers are welcome to add their own stickers to the growing collection on the walls.
“We wanted to do something that kind of reflected our own personality,” Lewis said.
Menu features hearty pizza, wings
Lewis describes his pizzas as hearty, New York-style pies that come with creative toppings. The menu currently includes offerings like the Three Little Pigs, which comes with pulled pork, Canadian bacon, bacon, roasted red peppers and onion straws with barbecue sauce.
The Muscles from Brussels comes topped with Calabrese peppers, bacon, fried brussels sprout petals, Mike’s hot honey and fresh lemon.
The restaurant also offers boneless and bone-in chicken wings in a variety of flavors, including sriracha honey, Thai, garlic parmesan, gojuchang and teriyaki.
“We’re just testing out the market here to see what people are digging,” Lewis said.
Salads and pizza by the slice are also available, along with appetizers such as garlic knots and fried mozzarella sticks. Beer is offered on tap, including selections from The Dudes’ Brewing Co. in Los Angeles.
Lewis and his general manager, Alex Luna, hope locals feel at home grabbing a slice or a brew at their restaurant.
“There’s not a lot of rules at Sweet Lew’s,” Lewis said. “You just come here and order a pie and have fun.”