Hillbilly Willy's owners open Georgi's Pizzeria in Ooltewah

Staff Photo by Tierra Hayes / George Foster pulls a pizza out of the oven on Aug. 9. His restaurant, Georgi's Pizzeria, opened in July.

After operating Hillbilly Willy's in the Chattanooga area for 17 years, George and Angela Foster have traded barbecue for pizza and opened up a craft pizzeria in Ooltewah.

In a way, they're returning home. Angela grew up in Ooltewah, and they live and raised their kids in the unincorporated area in east Hamilton County. The first rendition of Hillbilly Willy's was in Ooltewah before they moved the business to Lookout Valley, George's hometown, and where they've operated for 15 years.

But in early 2022, they got an unexpected notice by email - the owner of their building was converting the property into a storage facility, and they had 60 days to vacate. So they began to search for a space for a future pizza place and opened Georgi's in July.