Jerry’s Pizza celebrates 20th anniversary

Nicholas Sparling, Reporter

A Bakersfield staple celebrated two decades of existence in an event sponsored by the Downtown Business Association.

Jerry’s Pizza turned 20 years old on April 3.

The man of the evening was owner Jerry Baranowski, who smiled as he moved through the crowd shaking hands with all his guests.

“The event is beautiful. I’m overwhelmed by the situation. It’s not just for me though. The people, they deserve this. I really appreciate them. What would Jerry’s Pizza be without them?” said Baranowski.

Baranowski went on to thank his customers in a speech.

“We need to first say thanks to them, and then celebrate why they like to come. They are not new faces, they are regular customers. Everybody who was here today was at least here in the past, many are quite regulars,” he said.

Baranowski also took time to thank his employees.

“All of them deserve recognition, whether they worked here for one day or several years,” said Baranowski.

In its 20 years, Jerry’s Pizza has had over 300 employees.

In attendance for the celebration was mayor Harvey Hall.

He was there to present Baranowski with a special award for his 20 years of service downtown.

“It’s a true success story and we’re very proud of what Jerry has done,” said Hall.

Hall also commented on Baranowski’s speech.

“The enthusiasm that he showed in his presentation shows that he loves what he does,” he said.

Hall took time to recognize the service that Jerry’s Pizza has done for youth.

“I think it has given the youth of Bakersfield a viable alternative for all types of music when you consider the many concerts that Jerry has conducted at his residence. That gives the kids and the youth an opportunity to look at things that maybe only Los Angeles and San Francisco has.

“He has made that possible for our kids here. I think he has always had a good, kind, commitment to downtown Bakersfield, maintaining his presence and being a part of all the good things occurring downtown and making sure that his business fits into our community. I’m very proud of Jerry and his 20 years of service,” said Hall.

Concert-goers in Bakersfield have long known Jerry’s Pizza as one of the most popular venues in the city.

“We like all kinds of bands from all over and many bands from outside come here too. It definitely has given a good start for many young talents,” Hall said.

After migrating to the United States from Poland over 20 years ago, Baranowski had no idea that he would end up where he is today.

“Most of things that have happened in my life have been very spontaneous. I like to plan the serious things, but as far as the music, it was very un-predicted,” he said.