Decatur businessman Max Miller considers plans for a new improved Famous Monster Pizza restaurant located a block down the street from the current facility. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
Decatur businessman Max Miller considers plans for a new improved Famous Monster Pizza restaurant located a block down the street from the current facility. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

DECATUR, Ind. – Decatur businessman Max Miller has made a big business decision. He is going to move one of the most appreciated pizza businesses in the area a half block down the street in the midst of Decatur’s famed art district.

The business, “Famous Monster Pizza,” has developed a nationally-known reputation since its establishment a little over a year ago. These days, Miller is surprised by the number of Van Wert and western Ohio customers that have joined his northeast Indiana clientele in filling his restaurant guided by a unique monster theme.

“Only in Indiana,” chuckled Miller as he sat in a booth surrounded by a large display of monster memorabilia. He noted that the Indiana publication "Only In Indiana” is a large promotional distribution that picked up the Adams County restaurant to promote statewide.

“A few days ago we had some girls from Dayton that drove up here just for the restaurant,” said Miller.

Miller noted that people are making pilgrimages from all over. A few days ago, he received a phone call from a businessman in California who heard about the eatery.

“People regularly come from Van Wert, Celina, Portland, Bluffton, Fort Wayne and occasionally Columbus,” said Miller. “Of course, the patrons of Adams County and Decatur have been very good to us.”

The new restaurant will have nearly twice the capacity as his present business, said Miller. It will be located in the midst of Decatur’s renovated Main Street improvement area between Vinnie’s Bar and Restaurant and Eichorn Jewelry.

“I like the way it gives space for outdoor driving,” said Miller. “It will provide street parking, the use of a new city parking lot and will provide handicap accessible parking. It will also have a small carryout reserved convenient parking lot.”

Miller has already looked over the historical mystique of the building that was once covered by a remodeling job.

“It was once an old historic Adams County Bank,” said Miller. “Its drop ceiling hides high ceiling designs that were once a part of the bank architecture. On one side was the Cort Movie Theater that was here in the 1930s and ’40s. I would like to take a big screen in there for our monster movies.”

Miller likes the space that will be available to utilize such items as a life-size “E.T.” and a variety of items he has not been able to get in his current facility. He would also like to utilize the presence of a full-fledged soda fountain, possibly a salad bar and a small gift shop utilizing the sale of monster and Decatur items.

Miller, who has been the owner of Ritter’s Flowers and Gifts on Second Street in Decatur for many years, also serves on the board of the Main Street Committee, bent on downtown development. In addition, he is also president of the board of the Adams County Historical Society.

As a writer, he has authored several books, including, “Tales of the Graveyard Shift.”

“I love it, the kids all love it,” said Miller. “We’ve been busy, we need room to grow. There is often a one hour wait on Friday and Saturday evening. Everybody loves pizza.”

Miller said that Facebook has been one of the biggest promoters of the new establishment. He noted many who visit the eatery post their own reviews of the good time that they’ve had there.

“We are working hard these days to rejuvenate downtown Decatur. This is one of our efforts to do so,” said Miller.