The Rock Wood Fired Pizza is a popular restaurant with a rock and roll theme. The chain started in Tacoma but has close ties to Auburn. When the third Rock location opened up in Lakeland Town Center in the south end of Auburn, the area was hungry for a good place to eat. In the first week that the Lake Tapps location opened it broke both daily and weekly sales records for the fledgling chain.
A Rock founder and owner, Jay Gigandet, lives near Lake Tapps in Auburn. One of his pleasures was flying his Robinson Clipper 44 helicopter with a brilliant flame paint job around the area.
Jay remembers one particular time he took his flying machine out. “My wife and I flew to Tacoma on a Sunday afternoon thinking it would not be busy at the UW [Tacoma] parking lot across the street. I did a fly by and there wasn’t a car in the lot so I landed.” They went in and ordered pizza. About 20 minutes later Gigandet heard sirens and dashed out. Several police cars, a fire engine, and an ambulance were pulling into the lot.
Gigandet said, “I casually went over where they had the helicopter surrounded, I asked ‘hello?” The officer said they received a call that a helicopter crashed in the lot. Supposedly the guy who called was drunk, and couldn’t tell the flames were not real. Jay told the officer everything was okay. “Needless to say, I took my pizza to-go and got out of there.”
About 2 or 3 years ago, he got rid of the helicopter, but the memories will always last.
Guest Author Jordan Hoerth Was born in Auburn in 1992, and continues to live there now. He is an aspiring artist, and writer.
Helicopter photo courtesy of Jay Gigandet
The Rock Wood Fired Pizza locations can be found all along western Washington. Every year, The Rock holds a battle of the bands competition with entries from high schools in the area.