If you have ever been to Isle of Palms, you may be familiar with the playful dog in front of Luke ‘n Ollie’s Pizzaria owned by native New Yorker and now full fledged Charlestonian Jonathan Swartz. Bringing a unique New York style casual dining experience to the Low Country has proven to be a blessing to families and friends in the Charleston area.
How he got to this point is the story behind the story.
Jonathan Swartz is a humble business owner from Schenectady, New York, who owns Luke ‘n Ollie’s Pizzeria on Isle of Palms. He brings an authentic style of Italian cooking to the Low Country. From breakfast pizza, to subs, to calzones, to martinis, strombolis and ice cream sundaes, this is a true gem just a few hundred feet from the beach.
Here are some amazing things you should know about Luke ‘n Ollies Pizzeria before we continue:
- The Steak Bomb Challenge – 18″ sub with 10 oz of Philly Cheese steak, 8 oz of hamburger, 4 oz of Italian sausage, sauteed onions, peppers and mushrooms, topped with 1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese and served with a quadruple order of fries for $25.00. If you can finish in 60 minutes or less it is free. If you do not, your picture will be shared with the toilet in the bathroom. Many have tried and few have succeeded.
- There is a Luke ‘n Ollies smart car that is red and covered in pizza.
- The mascot for Luke ‘n Ollies has been dressed in everything from a Santa outfit to a string bikini.
- They do deliver and my how they meet the needs of the community, even if they are too lazy to leave the house.
- Jonathan believes he saw Taylor Swift in front of his restaurant once.
- In 2013, they served over 100,000 people.
Ok, now that we have had our fun facts exchange, it is time to share how this gem of a restaurant became a part of Charleston folklore.
Jonathan trekked to California with a dream. Not just to hug Drew Carey but to get on and win The Price Is Right. With an obnoxious shirt, a more obnoxious friend and a little luck on his side, Jonathan not only made it to the showcase showdown, but he completed his mission victoriously. Now, the opportunity had beckoned to follow his dream of opening up an Italian Restaurant. With the help of many supportive friends and family, Jonathan worked tirelessly to open Luke ‘n Ollies and make it a permanent fixture on the beaches of Isle of Palms.
Today, Luke ‘n Ollies stands as a role model of hard work, perseverance and the belief in the power of the game show. Sometimes opportunity and fun can go hand in hand. At the end of the day, it wasn’t the prizes and cash that fulfilled Jonathan, it was the ability to use this as a stepping stone to a dream. Today, Jonathan and his staff fill the stomachs of children and adults everyday with delicious food served with a smile.
Whether you are coming in for a large pizza, pasta, a root beer float or the Steak Bomb Challenge, come in with a smile and walk away with a full stomach. Make sure you say hello to Jonathan. He may even give you a hug.
Luke ‘n Ollies is located at 1101-C Ocean Blvd, Isle of Palms, SC 29451