Tommy's on Thomas 30th Anniversary
Many of Hammond locals remember the days of their youth, particularly playing the old Pacman machine in “Tommy’s on Thomas” off of N. Morrison Blvd. Tommy’s on Thomas has been a part of our lives in this city. We’re excited to announce that on Sunday, October 13, 2019 they are celebrating their 30th anniversary. We interviewed the owner James Webb and his wife Natalie Webb about what makes Tommy’s on Thomas such a trademark in Downtown Hammond.
- Give us some history of Tommy’s. When did it open and where was the original location? When did you take over Tommy’s and why?
Tommy’s was originally owned by by Paul and Dot Burchard. They opened in 1976 at 2105 N. Morrison Blvd. The business was named after their son, Tommy. I purchased the business October 13, 1989. My grandfather owned a restaurant on Dauphine Street in New Orleans named, “La Famille”. I regularly visited him there and fell in love with the food service industry immediately!
- What made you want to work in the restaurant industry?
Besides loving my grandfather’s business, my first job was at a seafood restaurant. It was a fast paced and exciting place to work, so when Tommy’s was put on the market it wasn’t a hard choice for me. It would also be an excellent opportunity for me as a SLU supporter to start my future in the community that I loved.
- What drives you to keep Tommy’s on Thomas going?
I never want to stop being a part of Tommy’s! Here, we are family. I have employees now and former staff that we see as family members. My wife and our son Ty are SLU Alumni. Although I graduated from Auburn, I love and support SLU. We have strong ties here and hope to always be a part of Downtown area. One day, when it is time for me to retire, I hope my eldest son Ty will follow in my footsteps.
- What makes Tommy’s such a trademark in Hammond?
I think Tommy’s is a trademark in Hammond not only because of our signature sauce, but it evokes feelings of nostalgia. Most of our customers today grew up eating with us and now they are bringing their children. We have been a part of Birthdays, Anniversaries, proposals, and first dates for 30 years!
- What is your favorite drink\food item on the menu?
My favorite menu item is tough, but I can say the Greek pizza was the first pizza I created in honor of my grandfather so obviously it has a special meaning. The other would be the Muffuletta. I spent a lot of time trying to get it just right. When I decided to toast the bread and melt the cheese, I knew it was perfect. Try adding roasted garlic for an added punch of flavor!
- What makes your pizza in Downtown Hammond so special?
I think what sets our pizza apart is the fact that everything is done by hand, from the shredding of our cheese to the making of our own dough. The extra attention to detail makes a big difference in taste and makes us unique.
- Give us a hint: what makes Tommy’s sweet sauce so amazing?
Our signature sweet sauce I made myself! The Italian culture around the area inspired me to make a sweeter version of pizza sauce. It was well received and so the sweet sauce was born.
- What are your best sellers on the menu?
Some of our best-selling items are Buffalo Breadsticks, Gritalia Salad, Chicken Parmesan, and the Luna Rosa! Watch out for the spinach and artichoke dip, it’s a newer item that has exploded in popularity.
- What is your favorite memory of Tommy’s?
My favorite memory of Tommy’s would be that I met my beautiful wife here. She has helped me every day for the past fourteen years. I could not have done it without her.
- Congratulations on the 30 years of business, what do you have planned for the anniversary?
We are going to celebrate our 30-year Anniversary all year with special pricing, live music, and a few surprises! Also, stay tuned for a special happening in April!!