Three dollars at three in the morning: a night at Jeff’s Pizza Shop


Customers hang out in Jeff’s Pizza Shop in Campustown.

Thomas Hugo

After a long night (or morning) out, where can Ames residents and Iowa State Students go to get a massive slice of pizza for three dollars at three in the morning?

Jeff’s Pizza Shop is one of the few stores in Campustown that stays open as late as 3:30 a.m. on the weekends. Though it’s the same restaurant, Jeff’s Pizza late at night looks substantially different than Jeff’s in the daytime.

In order to prepare for the weekend, Jeff’s makes changes to the dining area. Drunk customers can cause damage the store and each other if precautions aren’t made.

For example, salt, pepper, cheese shakers, and other small items are taken off the tables and moved to a different room at 8:30. Adam Carpenter, 34, a manager at Jeff’s, said, “Friday’s and Saturday’s we always do that, they become projectiles otherwise.”

Carpenter, said, peak business for late night slice line and delivery is from around 12:30 to 1:00 a.m.

At slice line on Friday, customers were coming in waves by 11:00. Once the line started forming, and the tables start filling, the overall noise level in the restaraunt increased tremendously.

Customers were chatting, some yelling, and occasionally knocking over a chair or two as they milled around the restaurant. The sobriety levels of customers appeared to be ranging from sober, to some barely being able to keep their eyes open or speak clearly.

When asked how long he had been in line, a student, who preferred not to give his name, said, “I have no idea, it’s all been a blur.”

At one table, a customer attempted to stuff a wet floor sign into his backpack, failing to conceal the sign as it was sticking halfway out of the bag.

Towards the front of the line near the register, things were a bit more organized, though customers often had to be reminded that they were ordering next.

Jeff’s serves beer until midnight. Bring-your-own-beverage (regarding alcohol) is not allowed. “If we start feeling it gets out of hand, or if there’s just too many people we’ll stop serving a little early” Carpenter, said.

At times, alcohol can produce more than just loud conversation and lack of coordination.

Carpenter said that he’s broken up a fair share of drunken brawls at Jeff’s.

“I broke up a fight last week, actually”, said Carpenter, regarding an incident where a woman was reportedly punched at A.J.’s, “[the man who punched the woman] came over to Jeff’s, and two guys bodily hauled him out right as I was walking up outside. So I broke it up, called the cops, and had them come deal with it.”

Besides fights, Carpenter has seen intoxicated customers vomit on tables, steal things, and make the bathroom into a mess. Customers have relieved themselves, “on the walls in the bathroom, and [in] the sink, you name it” Carpenter, said.

Jason Reynolds, 21, delivers pizzas for Jeff’s. Reynolds said that while on a delivery to a hotel, a customer seemed to be threatening with his words.

“They were really drunk. [The customer] gave me cash, and his friend came out to the car” Reynolds said. “He was saying stuff like ‘I can make this kid disappear, I’ve got connections.’”

Finally, at 3:30 a.m., Jeff’s closes. The last remaining customers make their way out, and the workers begin the process of cleaning and locking up the restaurant so it can open again later in the morning at 10:30.


Twitter: When asked how long he waited for a slice at Jeff’s Pizza Shop, a student answered “I have no idea, it’s all been a blur.”

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