By Jacob Mathias
A local comic shop has expanded to include a new line of products — paninis.
Galaxy Comics, located in Downtown Stevens Point, opened a small cafe in the rear of the newly remodeled store in July. The menu includes a selection of homemade paninis all priced at under $10.
Owner Chris Randazzo said he got the urge to open a restaurant after developing a love for food about 10 years ago.
Local favorites include the Cuban sandwich, a chicken and andouille sausage grilled cheese, and Randazzo’s own take on potato salad, flavored with bacon and chipotle peppers.
Other paninis are grilled with barbecued pork, pesto chicken and a spicy option dubbed the “Meat and Heat” containing andouille sausage and a white hot barbecue sauce. All of Galaxy’s sauces are made from scratch as well as his 10-to-12-hour roasted pork.
Homemade rice crispy treats with “extra marshmallows” are also a fan favorite.
“I fell in love with food,” he said. “I grew up eating boxed, prepped everything — you know, a latchkey kid making Spaghetti O’s and frozen pizza.”
Randazzo said his love of food came from a relationship with local restaurateurs Leah and Chef Christian Czerwonka. He took cooking classes at Czerwonka’s flagship restaurant, Christian’s Bistro. He said thanks to the Czerwonka’s teaching and mentor-ship, he was able to learn the skills needed for his own restaurant.
“I had no background in restaurants,” said Randazzo.
Galaxy works to buy local for the restaurant including using product from the Downtown Farmers Market, Farmshed and Main Grain Bakery.
“If you start with a better product you’re going to get a better product in the end,” said Randazzo. “It’s kind of that simple.”
While not a common fixture in a comic book and game store, Randazzo said the café became a logical extension of his business providing an outlet for his passion for food and a resource for his customers. He said during store events many customers tell him the only reason they leave is to find food.
“To see the look the look on people’s faces when they bite into those sandwiches, it’s honestly pretty often a look of surprise,” he said. “We’re doing our best to deliver a fantastic product.
The café is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The dinner hours are limited and run from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. They coincide with Galaxy’s evening events including Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering games.
Galaxy Comics is located at 925 Clark St. in Stevens Point.