Tucked between Abloom Florist and AmuManu Ramen Bar on O Street, Calios recently opened their doors to give Lincoln citizens a taste of New York-style calzones.
Calios was established in 2006 in Oswego, New York, but in September 2018, the company opened a store in Lincoln as its first location west of Pennsylvania.
According to David MacDougall, who runs a location in upstate New York,the company wanted to open a location further west in a city with a large university to see how business would do outside of the East Coast.
“[Nebraska] has a really big school, and obviously O Street is where it happens to be,” he said. “The location presented itself, and we decided to take the plunge and see if this works out west.”
As a New York-based chain, Calios specializes in New York-style calzones. Out of the 41 styles of calzones offered — not including their dessert calzones — Calio’s sells traditional flavors like pepperoni, but customers can also order fajita, cordon bleu and mac ‘n’ cheese calzones.
Similar to the locations on the East Coast, MacDougall said the Lincoln restaurant is trying to promote how late their locations are open every night — opening at 4 p.m. every afternoon and closing at 4 a.m, with delivery available until close.
Because the restaurant is located among O Street’s bars and music venues, MacDougall said he would like to embrace Lincoln’s nightlife by incorporating live music at their location as well.
“[In New York], we’ll clear out some tables and let comedians come into our locations on Friday and Saturday nights and do events where we’ll run discounts on food while comedians perform,” he said. “If somebody would approach us about doing something like that, we’d love to set it up.”
MacDougall said he would like to support UNL students while Calios is in Lincoln because he said it's important for students to be supported by their community.
“You guys study hard in school, and I think it's important that local businesses support [students] and what you do outside of the academic curriculum,” he said.
But no matter who comes into the restaurant, whether they’re a student or a late-night bar patron, MacDougall said he hopes every customer has the same experience.
“I want them to leave as full and as happy as possible,” he said. “As long as customers don’t think they’re over-paying for their food, there’s nobody in Lincoln that can compete with us.”