J&G is 50: Upside Brewery is 5

Mark and Jill Dallas, owners of J&G’s Pizza Palace, and their son Nick and daughter-in-law Melissa Dallas, owners of Upside Brewing, are planning a “50 & 5” celebration on Oct. 2 from 4 to 11 pm. J&G’s, founded in 1971 at 5692 N. Main St. in downtown Sylvania, marks its 50th year offering its distinctive, thin-crust pizza and more to generations of customers. The inaugural beers from Upside Brewing were first poured five years ago. “We thought these benchmark anniversaries were something to celebrate,” the Dallas family agreed.

Jill and Mark Dallas, their grandchildren, Luna and Myles, daughter-in-law Melissa and son Nick Dallas are ready to celebrate.

Hungry and thirsty guests will find that J&G’s signature pizza is available along with brews from Upside and others and there will also be several food trucks including Smashdawgs and Deets Barbecue. Music will be provided by Red Carpet Crashers and DJ Diamond Lee. In addition, there will be Celebrity Pourers throughout the evening with proceeds benefiting The Victory Center.
The downtown Sylvania eatery was opened by Jim and Georgia Kalaharis in the fall of 1971. It soon became a favorite spot for area junior high and high school students after football games as well as the adult crowd every night of the week.
One of the employees, Mark Dallas, took a leap of faith and offered to purchase the eatery when the founders made the decision to sell in 1979. He and his wife, Jill, continue to take an active role in the business making sure all the ingredients are ready for the evening, flipping pizza dough in the air and greeting guests as they wait for tables or pick-up orders.
Through the years very little has changed. “I tweaked the recipes a bit in the early days,” Mark Dallas admitted. “But, for the most part, our menu remains the same.”
That menu includes a thin crust pizza, small, medium and large with options for a variety of traditional pizza toppings. Gyros featuring beef and lamb may be purchased as a sandwich or platter; chicken, beef or lamb shish kabobs are available; spaghetti is offered in small and large size, and small and large Greek or tossed salads are also available. Diners may top their meal with baklava or cheesecake for dessert.
Nick Dallas has grown up at J&G’s Pizza Palace and began working in the restaurant at an early age. While he continues to be involved and works regularly behind the J&G counter, five years ago he introduced Upside Brewery and made his first pour on Sept. 14, 2016.
Dallas said he had been homebrewing for family and friends for a few years. It had been a fun hobby, and then he became more serious and started thinking about brewing at his family’s business, J & G Pizza Palace, which has essentially turned J & G into a brewpub.
J&G Pizza Palace and Upside Brewery are housed in a building constructed in 1907. Prior to the restaurant, the building was home to a dog shop, multiple beauty salons, drug stores and a dry goods store.
Prior to 1907, there was a residential home with an attached physician’s office on the property occupied by Dr. Thomas T. and Harriett Cosgrove from 1865 to 1889. From 1889 to 1907, George and Anna Lovewell owned the property. An article in the Toledo Critic newspaper of 1903 said: “Frank Koepfer has leased the George Lovewell buildings, selling farming implements of the most improved kind.”
The Sylvania Savings Bank purchased the property in 1907 and demolished these structures in order to construct the current two-story building. The bank built the building so that they could occupy the north side while renting out the south side of the building, basement and the second floor.
Property information came from local historian Gayleen Gindy.

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