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Slicing things up in downtown Solon

Eastwood’s Sports Bar moves to Main Street; D&D Pizza finds a home inside Sam’s Main Street Market
Sam Lensing and Leo Eastwood together in front of what was previously D&D Pizza and Cafe, and is now Eastwood’s Sports Bar. (photo by Jen Moore)

SOLON– Two Solon staples are making a switch.
Several months ago, D&D Pizza and Cafe owner Sam Lensing made the decision to move his restaurant across the street into his grocery store, Sam’s Main Street Market.
The only unanswered question was what to do with the empty building.
That’s where Leo Eastwood, of Eastwood’s Sports Bar, came in.
Eastwood learned earlier in the year that he was being evicted from his previous location on Haganman Lane due to the building being sold, leaving him with a big problem and little time to find a solution.
Lensing knew of Eastwood’s situation and, with a little persuasion, was able to convince him to relocate to the Main Street location.
So far both are thrilled with the results.
“It’s been really quite a pleasant surprise,” Eastwood said. “We’ve been here a month and right now, probably, our worst day we’ve had here would equal a normal day at the old place.”
With an increase in new restaurants in the Solon area, Lensing felt it would be a smart move to downsize the popular pizza place to its new location inside the Main Street Market. The added convenience of having carry-out pizza in the same place where people get their snacks and drinks would be a big draw for many customers, he thought.
Lensing streamlined the menu, set up shop behind the deli counter, and even found space to create a small salad bar, complete with a few tables and chairs.
“This fills up quite a bit during the lunch time,” Lensing said. “We’ve got a pretty good customer flow.”
He also hopes to add take-and-bake pizza options for customers in the near future.
Lensing originally opened D&D Pizza and Café in 2007. Having worked at a pizza place through college, he had always wanted to run his own. After seeing the space across from Main Street Market go unoccupied for over a year, he decided to make the jump and add “restaurateur” to his resume.
“I kept staring at it through my windows,” Lensing said. “I always thought it would be fun to own my own place.”
And though the restaurant has moved, he wants customers to know they can still expect the same great food that they’ve always received.
“We want to let people know we’re still here and it’s still the same quality pizza we’ve had from before,” he said. “I just want to continue to work with the public and help supply their needs.”
Like Lensing, working with the public has also been a part of Eastwood’s life. He and his family have run several restaurants throughout the years, including a Dairy Queen and Maid-Rite.
Before he became the owner of Eastwood’s, he was a police officer with the University of Iowa for almost 30 years, which, according to him, isn’t as different from running a bar and restaurant as one might think.
“They’re both about treating people the way you want to be treated,” Eastwood said. “If you come up to someone with a chip on your shoulder, they’re not going to respond to that.”
He opened Eastwood’s Sports Bar on Christmas Eve of 2009, and, in six years, hasn’t been closed a single day.
In fact, the 70-year-old only had his first day off in February of this past year, but it wasn’t exactly by choice.
Eastwood suffered a heart attack on Feb. 10 and had a second one less than a week later. But the bar stayed open with the help of friends and family and he was back in the building less than two weeks later.
“I’m very social. People and work, those are my hobbies,” he said. “Most of my regulars, they’re like my extended family.”
Eastwood’s Sports Bar, located at 106 E. Main St., opens at 1 p.m. seven days a week, with a kitchen that stays open until 10 p.m.
D&D Pizza and Café is now located behind the deli counter at Sam’s Main Street Market at 123 E. Main St. in Solon. Orders can be made in person or over the phone by calling 319-624-2669.