By Jackie Stone

The Cove Herald

Fat Daddy's Pizzeria in Copperas Cove has only been open at its new location for a little more than a week, but owner Chad Pritchard has big ger plans for the New York-Style pizza joint.

The overall goal though is simple - good food and a nice atmosphere.

"We do everything. We actually cook the food. You can't go into one of the big four pizza chains and ask what's in the dough, they can't tell you," Pritchard said.

Pritchard, a Killeen-raised, classicly trained French chef who has worked from Austin to Alaska, experimented with his dough recipe as a chef in Harker Heights. The sauce is also made in house, and Pritchard prides himself on using whole-milk mozzerella cheese - nothing frozen and no additives.

As to why he wanted to open a pizza joint, "Who doesn't like pizza?" Pritchard asked.

"Pizza's fun and pizza makes people happy," he said. "If it's good pizza, people aren't going to complain."

Fat Daddy's new location on Avenue D is located next door to Pritchard's other restaurant, Crawdaddy's, which opened in December. The pizzeria originally opened in February on 2nd Street in Copperas Cove, but has been closed for six weeks while Pritchard moved the operation to the new store.

Pritchard has also recently opened a Fat Daddy's in Killeen and is planning to open another in Harker Heights soon. Pritchard owns the restaurants and makes the recipes himself, but said he wants to establish a legacy.

Pritchard lives in Killeen with his wife and two young children. His sister and brother-in-law each manage one of his restaurants, and he plans to turn management of another over to an employee who has worked his way up.

"We wanted to open something where we could start a legacy with my family and the employees," Pritchard said.

Pritchard has 29 employees at his two resturants in Cove and said he believes strongly in local businesses, and getting away from the "highway" experience.

By summer, Pritchard plans to have a deck behind Fat Daddy's that connects both his Cove restaurants and includes a stage for live music performances. He sees it as a place where bands or just a local guy with a guitar can provide a little mood music.

"We're not trying to be a concert place, we're just trying to give them something they don't have in the area," he said.

The interior is still a work in progress, but after closing for six weeks to refinish the wood floors at the new location, Pritchard said he just wanted to get open again.

In addition to a host of red and white pies - from classic pepperoni and margherita pizzas to sun-dried tomato alfredo - the restaurant also serves grinder sandwiches, salads and wings.

Fat Daddy's does offer limited delivery in Cove, but Pritchard said he wants people to come in to the restaurant and enjoy the pizza.

"We feel pizza should be eaten and enjoyed like a meal at any other restaurant," he said. "Pizza is best eaten straight out of the oven and shared with family."

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