A Gig Harbor landmark and favorite breakfast spot for many, the Hy-Iu-Hee-Hee now has a new owner.
Jean-Paul “JP” Pirio, 42, purchased the business Dec. 15 from Carol Heimbigner, closing just one day in order to make the transfer.
“I heard about this place and the fantastic history that dates back to the 1930s,” Pirio said. “It’s kind of a staple in Gig Harbor.”
Renamed JP’s Hy-Iu-Hee-Hee, the Gig Harbor restaurant joins two other locations owned by Pirio: JP’s Taproom and Grill in Kent and JP’s Bar and Grill in Renton.
Pirio started working in restaurants busing tables, working his way up to management and then purchasing his first business at age 25.
I heard about this place and the fantastic history that dates back to the 1930s. It’s kind of a staple in Gig Harbor.
Jean-Paul “JP” Pirio, new owner of Hy-Iu-Hee-Hee
He has initiated some changes to the restaurant’s menu, adding in a rib eye steak and a philly cheese steak — a favorite dish at other locations — but also keeping some local favorites, such as breakfast dining and its pizzas.
“I’ve heard they were well known for their pizzas,” Pirio said. “We didn’t want to mess with anything that’s not broken.”
The location also features exclusive beers — an IPA and a Red Ale — brewed for Pirio’s restaurants by Everett’s Lazy Boy Brewing.
“We created the recipe with them,” Pirio said. “You can’t get them anywhere else.”
Other changes include some updates and modernizations to the systems, new seating and a few more 60-inch televisions to keep sports fans up-to-date.
Everyone seems really receptive. We have a really good clientele here. Everyone has been super nice and welcoming to the neighborhood.
“We’re just modernizing and updating a bit,” Pirio explained. “And introducing some things that are ours.”
Overall, the regulars have been welcoming and friendly throughout the changes, Pirio said, and the original staff has stayed at the restaurant through the change.
“Everyone seems really receptive,” he said. “We have a really good clientele here. Everyone has been super nice and welcoming to the neighborhood.”
JP’s Hy-Iu-Hee-Hee is located at 4309 Burnham Drive and can be reached at 253-851-7885.