Soulshine Pizza Factory is Open for Business

21 Apr

The wait is over for the newest pizza joint to hit Oxford. Soulshine Pizza Factory opened its doors yesterday in the old Varsity Grille location.

UPDATE 4/21: Went to check the place out after work today and it was slammed, as expected. Friendly advice for future restaurateurs: schedule your entire staff to work the first few nights—it’s pretty much a guarantee that any new restaurant here in Oxford will be packed when it first opens.

26 Responses to “Soulshine Pizza Factory is Open for Business”

  1. Sophie June 29, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    My husband and I ate at Soulshine recently and ordered the “Johnny’s Garden” vegetarian pizza. It was absolutely awful, because it was TASTELESS. We will not be ordering that one again; in fact, that kind of experience usually makes us not go back. I will say, however, that the service could not have been better. Surely this restaurant can do better with its food!

  2. Bingo Gunter November 12, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Hi all, just wanted to let you all know that we now have new managers and are tightening our ship to better serve you! Thanks for dealing with us through our opening months and subsequent growing pains. Please come visit us and ask for me, Bingo Gunter, I promise your service will be great!

  3. Todd October 17, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    I just had dinner at Soulshine…the pizza came out and was NOT what I ordered. But hey, that happens…what I had a problem with was the LONG BLONDE HAIR COOKED INTO THE PIZZA!!! My hair is neither long or blonde. Our server, William was super helpful, however the assistant manager would not ever come out of the back to check on us! Bon Appetite!

  4. Taylor May 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Having watched the mixed reviews on this blog, I do have a couple of things I’d like to get off of my mind. I have worked with the Soulshine crew, tried things on the menu, and watched the place develop. Without a doubt, Soulshine is the most successful idea that the old Varsity Grille location has seen. Having opened the week before Double Decker, the new eatery had a lot on their plate to deliver. Criticism is crucial for a restaurant to grow, improve, and thrive. The menu is spectacular. For a college town, you cannot have a better concept than pizza and beer for low prices. The restaurant also accommodates to families. The staff, managers, and the owner are absolutely fantastic people. Having worked in restaurants for the majority of my young adulthood, I encourage people to remember that little issues occur, especially in the first few weeks of restaurant life! In the opening weeks of a restaurant, kinks are worked out and adjustments are made. My point is this: the food is great, the prices are great, the live music is so fun, and the souls of the people that run that place truly do shine. I encourage all of the Oxford community to go in and enjoy time with the happy Soulshine family; because they are here to stay.

    • Jane Doe June 12, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

      Are we looking at the same menu and prices? The prices are not “cheap”. I tried the red beans and rice with sausage recently and was still unimpressed with the place. It lacked any flavor and the sausage almost tasted rancid.

  5. Jane Doe May 10, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    I went there this afternoon for a happy hour drink. $6.50 for a jack and coke that was clearly straight coke. I left after that. The food looked and smelled good but the menu looks pricey for what it is. I will probably try the food but definitely never ordering an adult beverage there EVER again.

  6. Bob May 10, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    The following (3) commentators are completely transparent as shills for Soulshine Pizza:

    1. “Paige” at 5:52 pm on 5/9.
    2. “Emily Perkins” at 5:54 pm on 5/9.
    3. “Blake Oliver” at 5:58 pm on 5/9.

    The dead giveaways are the close consecutive posting times (separated by only 2 – 4 minutes), and the effusive sycophantic prose. If I had access to their IP Addresses, I would look-up the IP Owner and their Geolocation here. I’m sure all 3 are identical.


    • Blake May 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

      It was actually required by my english course for part of our final grade to get on a website, this one being one of the options and write a review about a restaurant in Oxford we recently went to. Due yesterday at 6:00 p.m (my english class is “food themed”) ENGL 101-102 classes are now set by themes. Food, Public Communication, Religion…..

      • Shanna Flaschka May 16, 2011 at 9:03 am #

        Hmm. I teach the Food theme at Ole Miss, and this semester, there was no class at 6 p.m. in the Food theme. Also, the restaurant review is generally the FIRST major assignment of the semester, not the last. Since you were not one of my students, and the other instructor taught only two sections (neither of which was at 6), I’m calling “shenanigans” on you, Blake.

  7. judi May 9, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Sarah and katie, for a real treat, you should take a 30 min drive to sardis ( main st) and eat at Tribecca allie cafe,check out the website for hours , you will not be disappointed!Brick oven pizza at its best,fresh and local ingredients too!!!

  8. oliver clark May 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    I LOVE SOUL SHINE!!!!! The Mississippian is by far the best pizza ever. Normally i go to square pizza but this has just become my new hot spot! p.s The waitresses are really hot!!

  9. Blake Oliver May 9, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Soulshine is the place to be for sure, especially this summer. The atmosphere is awesome, and the food is great. My friends and I went for the first time a few days ago and got to sit on the covered patio. Service was very good, especially since the place was packed. The Greek Salad, and Dr. John pizza was awesome as well. We stayed a little while after finishing up our food and got some drinks and listened to the music through the open windows on the patio….defiantly a great experience and will be back again!

  10. emily perkins May 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    I went to Soulshine for the first time a few days ago with my girlfriends and i loved it!! i ordered the mississippean pizza and i can’t say i had anything like that before.. I am really glad that they are new and open here. The servers were nice and efficient considering the place was packed. i can’t wait to go there again this weekend!

  11. Paige May 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    I’m an avid Old Venice pizza eater. I was not so sure about trying Soulshine. It was actually delicious! I really enjoyed the crawfish bread as an appetizer, and the Rainbow Warrior for the entree. I like the that the pizza crust is not too thick and not too thin. The pizza sauce was full of flavor and just what I needed. I had an enjoyable time. The food took a little while to get to the table, but it was definitely worth my wait. The servers were great! Definitely a great addition to Oxford’s food venue.

  12. Sarah May 7, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    It’s frustrating as a recent newcomer to Oxford with the LACK of good food- especially in a decent price range. I know some members of this community have lots of disposable income, but going out to eat is a treat for me. Soulshine crushed my soul…

    My husband and I went this past week and the pizza was decent- nothing fantastic but LIGHT YEARS better than what else is around. We ordered a “mixed green salad” which consisted of nearly translucent iceberg lettuce half of which was mushy and dead. We also ordered an order of “Garlic Bread” which looked like a loaf of Italian bread from Wal-Mart and I couldn’t taste any garlic. If I go Italian- I live by the statement of you can never have too much garlic.

    I am also disappointed that I did order an alcoholic beverage which was slightly “off menu” but the main ingredient was sour mix and lime juice. It came in a glass full of ice and the glass was a small juice/ whiskey glass. IT WAS EIGHT DOLLARS!!!! I felt that was quite unreasonable. Can’t tell you that I’ll go back… but these guys haven’t waited on the “3 months in Oxford and then start to suck” deadline, they already do.

    • Anonymous July 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

      Glad I am not the only one disappointed by that dump

  13. Katie May 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Tried Soulshine tonight with my boyfriend for the first time. Service was deplorable and the restaurant was swarming with flies. Our server acted like she was reading off a script. We both ordered individual pizzas.

    The pizzas were greasy, cheap, and flavorless. Our server didn’t write down our orders, so naturally the mushrooms my boyfriend ordered didn’t appear. He ate his whole meal without a refill of his water. The entire waitstaff, including the server and the manager, were sitting in plain sight, ignoring us and texting on their phones.

    When we finally got the check, we decided she didn’t need a tip. We both wrote notes on the receipt telling her that if she took care of her tables instead of texting the whole time, she would’ve gotten a tip.

    Came home and got on facebook, and her friend found me and wrote me this nasty message:
    “I was not your waitress but the comment you made on your servers reciept was a bit ridiculous don’t you think? We were actually all over here with our boss looking at the finals schedule on your servers phone…. Because our boss asked us too…. Oh and your friend.. If you only knew how much money we all make, your 2 dollar tip you would have left, really wouldn’t have made a difference. P. S sorry about the mushrooms, bro”

    So this is the level of professionalism and care that this restaurant hires. I’m a waitress and don’t get the tips I’d wanted either, but I don’t go and facebook stalk my customers. That’s not what customer service is about.

    Stay far, far away.

    • Bob May 5, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

      YOWZA Katie! That’s an astonishing story. The retaliation by Facebook goes beyond being merely inappropriate, to putting the Soulshine Company in civil jeopardy. One of their employees publicly harassed you as a direct result of company business (serving you). That’s like a salesman publicly harassing his customers because he didn’t get the sale. You would always first seek remedy from the company, not the individual, and you would be well within your rights to do so.

      I am not being revengeful by recommending that you bring this incident to the attention of the highest levels of the Soulshine Company. They want to hear, they should hear, and they deserve to hear, this information. Imagine if YOUR company’s employees were publicly attacking YOUR customers as a result of routine company business performed under YOUR employ. Wouldn’t you want to know?

      Simply ask that Manager for the e-mail addresses of the owners of the Company. Just prepare one e-mail, and address it to all the owners and partners of the Soulshine Company. I believe the actual company owners have been actively working on site during the store’s launch. Even if you speak with the owners on site in person, follow-up your conversation with an e-mail, so that they have something in their hands they can act upon.

      Once again, I wouldn’t feel bad about taking these actions, especially in light of the employee’s flippant and remorseless words to you. Moreover, I would ask Soulshine to make me whole in some way. I know their food sucks, but ask for a big fat gift card, and give it to one of your married friends with kids. They would appreciate it.

      • Steven May 10, 2011 at 12:53 am #

        GREAT advice, Bob. There is no need for this type of behavior in our beloved Oxford. If a franchised establishment wants to be successful, service must be #1 priority. Soulshine better step up their “game” or someone else will be taking over a very nice, remodeled restaurant!

  14. pizzalover April 29, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Just what we need–another bad pizza place in Oxford. My expectations were low and quickly confirmed. Catch me drinking beer on the patio, but keep the crust, please!

  15. bill April 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    I went this weekend…They had an extensive selection of specialty pizzas so my party shared a few of the8″ pizzas. This way we could try the different kinds and see which ones we liked. I liked all of them, namely the “Sleeps with the Fishes”, “Johnny’s Garden” and “Carnivore”.

    We were told that they have a choice of White or Wheat crust but they were out of Wheat. I would have rather had wheat but the white was tasty…I’ll have to try wheat next time.

    Aside from the food, the atmosphere is great. They really lightened up the space with large windows that open up as well as colorful artwork. The old location was very dark and stuffy; it has been completely transformed. I like the bar a lot. It is large and spacious with a copper surface. The windows behind the bar were wide open, which let people on the patio buy beers and hear the band on the stage. The AC was cranked up and i was a little chilly, so i welcomed the warm breeze coming in from outside.

    I feel like this place is going to be a new Oxford staple.

  16. Jooky April 25, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Went there on Saturday. I had been to the Ridgeland location about a year prior and was not at all impressed, so my expectation level was pretty low. The place was adequately staffed and the servers were courteous and prompt. The pie itself, unfortunately; left much to be desired. The toppings were quite good, with a healthy layer of fresh mozzarella; but the crust was hard and flavorless. I prefer Old Venice to this for sure, but I will say that it is far better than Square Pizza (which actually isn’t saying very much). Still a nice big side deck and a pleasant atmosphere. I’m not ruling it out for a nice Spring afternoon drink location.

  17. Steve Wooten April 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    I ate there last night. We got there about 6:30 and sat on the deck. The place was packed- lots of families with kids. They were limiting their menu slightly. We started with a pitcher of Shiner. I noted with interest that their Jackson-area restaurants offer an assortment of lower-priced beers (Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light, PBR) for $8.75- 9.75 per pitcher. They are not offered in Oxford- the cheapest pitcher is $14+. That may be an effort to cater to a crowd that is not out just to see how much cheap beer they can drink, which I welcome.

    While the service was a little slow,I expected that to be the case. They had a large waitstaff, and the owners and managers were working waiting on tables and serving orders. We ordered the Executive (roast beef po-boy with swiss, served with au jus and chips). All po-boys are served on Gambino’s french bread, which was very fresh. The sandwich was excellent.

    Their menu is extensive. I saw many dishes that I look forward to trying.

  18. Bob April 23, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    I visited the new Soulshine Pizza and toured the kitchen.  It came as no surprise, that our fair city has been blessed with another incarnation of conveyor-belt pizza.  Assemble the casserole du jour – be sure to arrange the pineapple, clams, artichokes, and jerk chicken per the corporate diagram on the wall – and slop the soggy mess on the conveyor belt.  Voila!  “Gourmet” Pizza!  Pasty-white and undercooked you say?   Send it out Mortimer!  And give ’em a coupon for their next visit. 

    I’m going up to Memphis today, so I’ll stop for lunch at Bosco’s and have me a nice brick-oven pizza, then on the way home tonight, I’ll stop at Tribecca Allies for another brick-oven pizza.  I should be good for a few days after that. 

    Happy Easter Pizza Lovers!

  19. superstovall April 22, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    I was surprised at how large the space is.

  20. Steve Wooten April 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    They had their soft opening last night. They will have their official opening tomorrow at lunch.

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