Hey, Akron, let’s pretend for a minute that Luigi’s isn’t Luigi’s, and we are free to be 100% for real-honest about it. I am head over heels for the pizza and even the crust and the sauce at Luigi’s. Get a small and it’s a perfect, intoxicating amount of crispiness.
And this is why it’s so hard for me to admit that I hate the bathrooms, and the walk to the bathrooms, at Luigi’s.
On a Saturday night in October, my daughter and I met some friends there. It was about 7 pm. My friend said she didn’t think there would be a line. She’s from this planet, I swear, but sometimes girl acts like she’s from Mars.
So we get in line and about 30 seconds later, my daughter tells me she has to go to the bathroom, because of course she does. I tried to talk her into waiting until we got to our table, but she’s no dummy. She looked at that line and worried we would be there for hours. So I took her by the shoulders and just sort of propelled her through the crowd, but in a gentle way, honestly.
Walking through crowds is like an extreme sport for me. I’m actually pretty good at it but without being rude or too pushy. You just have to make yourself narrower, like you’re trying to hide but be assertive at the same time. When you walk into the restaurant, the bathrooms are straight ahead and then to the left.
I’m sure you know what happened when we opened the bathroom door. What happened is that we hit someone, because that is what always happens to everyone at Luigi’s. I don’t know what the maximum capacity is for this two-stall bathroom, but I think we reached it with two adults and three children.
The stall on the left has a toilet that is slightly crooked, but that’s okay because it ends up giving you a smidge of leg room. The stall on the right has a straight toilet, so you have even less leg room. I’m not sure it’s always possible for someone to get in there and have enough room to close the door.
Luckily, when we used the restrooms there was still plenty of toilet paper and they were fairly clean. The toilet paper holder has a four-roll capacity, so that should be enough to last a few hours, right?
After washing our hands, I took out my phone to take a quick picture. You can guess what happened next. Someone opened the door and hit me. I didn’t want to be the creep taking pictures in the ladies room, so we maneuvered around the three people coming into the bathroom and high-tailed it out of there back to our spot in line.
Other than inventing a rudimentary loft-style design for Luigi’s bathrooms with toilets on each level of the loft, I don’t have a solution for this bathroom. Loft-style toilets would be a horrible thing to see so I hope that doesn’t happen. Another way to handle the excess crowds would be to move the “cashless ATM” from its spot by the bathrooms, just to cut down on potential bottlenecks.
Okay, the period of Luigi’s honesty has come to and end, and it’s time again to start cloaking your feelings in phrases like “but it’s a landmark” and “an Akron institution.” I know that change can be hard, but I believe that, as a city, we would all be better off if Luigi’s had a better ingress/egress and bathroom situation. I give these bathrooms a 2.5/5. Sorry.
Emily Dressler has been writing about Akron bathrooms since 2015.