Iron Gate Opens Doors After A Year of Curbside


Gavin Melton

After offering curbside pickup only for over a year, Iron Gate Pizza is finally opening its doors again.

This article is part 3 of a 3 part series on local businesses adapting to the covid-19 pandemic.

Read part 1 on Pizza Hut here.

Read part 2 on Walls Drive In here.

There is an old saying – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. How could one person’s fire be another person’s beginning? A beginning to something that still feels like it’s only just getting started. From a dress shop, a fire, a global pandemic, and reopening after 13 months, the Iron Gate is one of the greatest small town stories you could imagine.


“We opened Iron Gate in November of 1982 with borrowed picnic tables and a small countertop oven that would hold just 3 pizzas,” says Judy Garrett, co-owner of the small town pizza place. She and her husband, Bill, opened The Iron Gate in November of 1982 after a fire broke out at The Patio, another small town business located in Cannelton. “The Patio (at the time was a pizza place) had a fire and when it didn’t reopen, Bill decided we could be pizza chefs.” However, The Iron Gate hadn’t always been a pizza place. In fact, Bill and Judy had done numerous things with the building before finally landing on a pizza place. “We owned the building for a few years. It was being used for storage and went awhile as a small dress shop.” Yet a small fire at a neighboring pizza joint was the key factor in Iron Gate rising out of the ashes. 


More recently, The Iron Gate, like many small businesses, had to learn how to manage during a worldwide pandemic that shut the gates of all businesses. “We didn’t struggle as much as a lot of small businesses,” says Judy. “But getting supplies at the time caused a problem, plus the rising cost of everything.” Bill and Judy decided it would be best for the company to go curbside for the foreseeable future, until everything was clear to open back up. However, they didn’t face this challenge alone.


“That was the craziest change ever.” says Edie Powers, a waitress at The Iron Gate. Edie began working at the pizza place in 2004, as a sophomore in high school. “It was scary thinking of how we are going to accomplish it. However it was amazing how easily we fell into taking charge and embracing new leadership roles around here.” With opening back up recently, Edie talked about the excitement, and how different things are going to be. “I have wet feet all over again. I feel like I’m 14 again not knowing what I’m doing. I did miss the interaction with people though, and it’s good to have that back again.”


Judy voiced how much she missed the customers saying: “You miss your customers. A lot of them are like family….We have been with these customers for 39 years so they are family.” The Iron Gate opened back up on May 13th,  and as someone who works there, it has been truly amazing to see people back in the building eating. Seeing the interaction with customers and waitresses, or customers and cooks, is something that you miss being a part of, and it really does put a smile on your face. “It was time to open back up.” says Judy, “Customers were ready to get back to normal, and so was I. All of the phone calls, Facebook messages, and texts about ‘when are you going to open’ finally got the job done. And thank you everyone for the push!”