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The Fighters: Michael Rice

J.R. McMillan

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Michael Rice, Owner of Fired Up Pizza

Pizza is probably our most pervasive comfort cuisine, and a predictable staple for those who already preferred to stay at home. With ample options available for take-out and delivery, why would anyone choose one from their freezer instead? Fired Up Pizza is the answer.

After successive stints as executive chef at two Cameron Mitchell restaurants, Michael Rice was ready to create something entirely different, but still from scratch. His mobile wood-fired pizza oven for catering can turn out 60 handmade pies an hour. But with corporate events and family gatherings on hold, his fledgling side hustle selling frozen pizzas is heating up.


“It’s not like a restaurant kitchen. When you’re making a pizza right in front of someone, it becomes a conversation.”


“I think people are really surprised how well it comes out. I get that a lot and when we do samplings at farmers markets or wherever I’m selling them,” revealed Rice, who founded Fired Up Pizza in part to create a closer connection with his clientele. “It’s not like a restaurant kitchen. When you’re making a pizza right in front of someone, it becomes a conversation.”

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Farmers markets led to local grocers, like The Hills, Huffman’s, and Weiland’s, and eventually Marc’s and select Giant Eagle locations. From classic Four Cheese and Margherita to Pesto Chicken and Roasted Mushroom, even the chewy crust with a little char still holds up. Variety varies at each store, but he’ll deliver whatever you want to your door for a modest minimum order.

“Independently-owned, local grocery stores are a lot easier to get into just because there aren’t as many layers. They’re very supportive,” he noted. “It’s a more gradual process with larger grocers, but probably a good thing that we weren’t everywhere all at once.”

Shrink-wrapped and oven-ready, at a price point between typical freezer fare and a freshmade pie, Fired Up Pizza hits the sweet spot.



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Arts & Culture

Weekend Roundup: 5/29 – 5/31

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With Ohio slowly starting to fully reopen, initial in-person gatherings have trickled into our news feeds.

Below are a few things you can check out over the weekend if you’ve been itching to leave your house and are capable of following COVID-19 guidelines.

Friday

Fair Food Weekend @ Oakland Nursery

One of the most disappointing summertime cancellations was the axing of the Ohio State Fair. For those still wanting to get their elephant ears or deep-fried oreo fix, Chester Foods will be bringing a pop-up food truck to the Oakland Nursery. Corn dogs, funnel cakes, fried oreos, fresh-cut fries, and lemonade shake-ups will all be on the menu. Fair food will be set up on both Friday and Saturday.

Time: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. | Address: 4261 W. Dublin Granville Rd.

Saturday

Sonic The Hedgehog/Jumanji: The Next Level and The Hunt/The Invisible Man @ South Drive-In

With movie theaters in Ohio still closing their doors, the drive-in revival has been sweeping the state, nation, and world. Once drive-ins were given the go-ahead by DeWine, South Drive-In began to provide the double feature experience to eager moviegoers. Admission is $9.50 on Friday/Saturday and $7.50 on Sunday for those 12+, $2 for ages 5-11, and free for those under 4.

The showings for this weekend are as follows: 

Screen 1:

  • 9:05 p.m. Sonic The Hedgehog (PG)
  • 10:53 p.m. Jumanji: The Next Level (PG-13)
  • 12:56 a.m. Sonic The Hedgehog (Friday/Saturday only) 

Screen 2:

  • 9:25 p.m. The Hunt (R)
  • 11:05 p.m. The Invisible Man (R)
  • 1:09 a.m. The Hunt (Friday/Saturday only)

Check out the South Drive-In website to see what social distancing guidelines need to be followed.

Time: Arrive 1-2 hours prior to first showing | Address: 3050 S. High St.

Sunday

Reggae on the Patio @ Skully’s Music-Diner

If you’re in search of a relaxing Sunday, look no further than Skully’s. The music venue/bar will be opening its patio for those to have socially distance hangs, drinks, and wings. Skully’s will be setting the mood perfectly for a chill Sunday by spinning reggae music all night long. Get yourself out of the house and go catch some island vibes.

Time: 7 p.m. - 2 a.m. | Address: 1151 N. High St.

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Community

No excuses: Former 10TV meteorologist sentenced on child porn charges

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Back in September of 2019, former 10TV meteorologist Mike Davis was arrested on child pornography charges. The trial, which began in January, was wrapped up on Thursday.

Davis was sentenced to a minimum of four years after pleading guilty to possessing child porn, according to ABC 6.

After being tipped off in August of 2019 by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, it was found that Davis had uploaded almost 16,000 child pornography images. It was also discovered that Davis was sending the images to himself via a Yahoo! Account.

He will be required to register as a Tier II Sex Offender for 25 years. Davis could serve up to six years.

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Gallery: George Floyd Columbus protests: Thursday, May 28

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Photos by John Thorne

Columbus responded to the death of 46-year-old George Floyd with protests across town Thursday night. Floyd died after a Minneapolis officer dug his knee into Floyd’s neck on May 25. Floyd, an African American, told police that he couldn’t breathe multiple times.

His death comes just after three months after the unarmed shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, an African-American, Georgia man who was out for a jog.

Over the past three days, protests have been erupting in Minneapolis and major cities across the country such as Denver and New York. Thursday evenings were the first reported protests in Columbus.

Protests began peacefully around 7 p.m with protestors moving down Long Street chanting, “Say his name,” in reference to Floyd.

Reports say, around 9:45 p.m., objects were thrown at police officers. Teargas was dispersed 15 minutes later, and the crowd of protestors began to disperse around 10:20 p.m. Within an hour, the protests picked back up.

The protests produced damage to several businesses, including the Ohio Statehouse and Ohio Theater. Nearing 2 a.m., several downtown streets were still blocked off.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and Columbus City Council President Shannon G. Hardin were quick to comment:

Another protest is scheduled for this Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon at the Ohio Statehouse.

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