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Do they have Buffalo wings and pepperoni pizza in Costa Rica?

Well, if we were part of the consulate of the Central American country, we'd make sure to stock up on wings, ribs and a vast assortment of bar-friendly comfort foods.

Why? Because Bob Roe will be a guest in the picturesque country for the next few weeks.

"I started going to Costa Rica about 15 years ago," he said during a phone interview. "As much as I love Sioux City, I prefer spending my February someplace much warmer."

Indeed, that's where the veteran restaurateur found out that Bob Roe's Point After received four first-place finishes in the Siouxland Choice Awards.

The 2320 Transit Ave. eatery placed first in the appetizers, bar food, wings, and take-out categories, while taking second place in All-American food and third place in pizza.

"We've never taken first place for pizza," Roe said, after hearing the results. "I don't feel too bad since all of the (top-ranked) pizza places are locally owned."

This is important to Roe, who celebrated his 40th anniversary in Sioux City's pizza biz in April 2017. In case, you were keeping track, he opened Westside Pizza (1200 W. Fourth St.) in 1977; Point After in 1982; and the North End Zone (4100 Floyd Blvd.) about six years ago.

"We're a locally owned business with three generations of the same family in charge of it," Roe said, proudly pointing out that his daughter Teri Rexius manages Point After while grandsons Jeremy and Jason Houser manage North End Zone.

"Not only that, many of the kitchen staff have been with us 20 or 30 years," he said. "Plus we've had at least three generations of customers come through our doors."

Rexius confirmed his assessment.

"Our original customers are now parents or grandparents," she said. "We're very happy to see them come back year after year."

Roe has a theory why he's been able to retain a steady customer base in a highly competitive field.

"We've always been more of a family restaurant than a bar," he said. "You can bring your kids here and not have to worry."

In addition, The Point After has a very consistent menu of All-American favorites. From hot beef sandwiches to specialty burgers to pizzas that are either traditional (the classic combo comes with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, sausage, hamburger and a bunch of veggies) or weird (though the Reuben pizza is better then you think), Roe know what his customers like.

"People know what to expect when they come here," Roe said. "They will get excellent service and delicious food."

But will Roe's loyal customers soon be seeing an unusually tan and relaxed owner?

"Well, I've been spending most of my time on a beach in Costa Rica," Roe said. "Hopefully, I'll come back to Sioux City with a bit of a tan."


Food and Lifestyles reporter

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