A tale of two Lorobi’s

By Callie Lyons, Special to the Gallipolis Daily Tribune

September 3, 2013

Editor’s note: A recent feature recognizing Lorobi’s as Ohio Valley’s Best Pizza that ran in the Sunday Times-Sentinel contained confusing information. This article aims to clear up questions as to the structure and ownership of the local business.

GALLIPOLIS — It may seem a bit confusing — even for long time residents of the area — however, the fact is there are two Lorobi’s restaurants in Gallipolis, and they are owned by two different individuals.

“It’s a bit of a mystery … unless you know,” said Tom Morgan, who owns the Lorobi’s corporation and the Second Street location.

The popular pizza business is about 50 years old. Morgan said he would go to the original location when he was in high school.

As times changed, the pizzeria was moved to the Silver Bridge Plaza. And, in 1991, a second location was opened downtown.

When it came time for long-time owner Forest Clark to sell the business, he sold the Silver Bridge Plaza location to Delores Hart who managed both stores for several years. The corporation and its location at 248 Second Street were sold to Tom Morgan. The ownership was split, but not the company’s legacy.

“We work together on a lot of things,” Morgan said. “We are siblings, but not twins.”

Lorobi’s brand, including their award-winning recipes, is shared by both locations.

“We have operated this way for many years,” Morgan said. “It is amazing that a small town in a small area supports two stores in such close proximity.”

Not only are they supported by the local community, they are celebrated, as evidenced by their recent win as Ohio Valley’s Best Pizza in the Ohio Valley Readers’ Choice awards sponsored by the Gallipolis Daily Tribune.

As for Forest Clark, who owned Lorobi’s longer than anyone, he is enjoying retirement in Dallas, Texas. The 94-year old entrepreneur once owned 20 local businesses. A photo on the wall of Lorobi’s Second Street location pays tribute to his legacy — and that of his high school classmate fellow restauranteur Bob Evans.