PATAGONIA, AZ (ARIZONA HIGHWAYS TV) - When you think of pizza, you probably think of cheese, sausage and pepperoni. But Elvis? In the town of Patagonia, yes, pizza.
It was a velvet Elvis painting that helped get a pizza restaurant up and running here.
"It wasn't because I love Elvis or because I really wanted to honor the king. It just came in a very unusual way. We needed a name that people would remember." said Cecilia San Miguel, owner of Velvet Elvis Pizza.
San Miguel said she was inspired with the velvet art form that has history from the 70s and started in Mexico. She wanted a name that linked Mexico and the United States since the town is so close to the border. And nothing did that better than Elvis and velvet.
San Miguel was searching for not just a new name for her restaurant, but a new life.
She had moved to Patagonia after her husband died and for the first time in her life she was all alone. Her children were grown up and on their own. "The whole world was open to me, what could I do?"
San Miguel said the success of Velvet Elvis Pizza has been through a series of miracles. A bakery was once operated in the location where Velvet Elvis Pizza is now. One of the partners of the bakery told San Miquel that their best days were on Fridays because they served pizza.
San Miguel decided to serve up pizza not just on Fridays but every day of the week along with soups and salads, and with the help of a local, a side of Elvis!
"Somebody in town already had this painting and they show up with this painting and they said Celia, we have it in storage, we cannot give it to you, we cannot sell it to you, it can be on permanent loan, so this has been on permanent loan for the last 16 years," said San Miguel.
Besides Elvis, her restaurant is filled with paintings by local artists.