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Riverview Inn

A vintage recipe unearthed from an old toolbox meets a brand-new larger-than-life mascot in this quaint Wisconsin pizzeria and tavern. Arthur Wille’s wife, Darlene, wasn’t initially sold on the abandoned building the couple spotted in Saukville, Wisconsin, in the early ’60s. Once a tavern somewhat disguised as a residential home, it had been sitting vacant…

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Fontas Pizza

A business-savvy Greek immigrant joined the Greeley, Colorado, town council to build a name for his new pizzeria before handing it off to a longtime employee. Following a foray into the restaurant business in Superior, Wisconsin, Fonta Fafoutis relocated to Greeley, Colorado, and jumped into the pizza game, opening Fontas Pizza in 1966. To drum…

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Inky’s Italian Food

Over three generations, this family-owned thin-crust institution in Ohio has forged connections among staff and customers alike for 60-plus years. Frank Incorvaia Sr. and his wife, Gloria, started their now third-generation pizza business on a very small scale: working out of a bar kitchen in suburban Rossford, Ohio. As business took off, they secured their…

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Porretta’s Pizza

An Italian immigrant who taught a teen busboy the ins and outs of the pizza business shaped a worthy successor to carry his company into the future. A few years after arriving in the States from Italy, Pat Porretta, having already worked in a local pizzeria, was ready to stake his own claim on the Windy…

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Tony’s Place

Employees at this Valparaiso, Indiana, restaurant have clocked decades on the payroll, while customers have included Phyllis Diller and Red Buttons. Fortunately for pizza fans in Valparaiso, Indiana, Anthony Gengo Sr. couldn’t deny his dough-bound destiny. He’d been born into the business; his mother owned a bread company in New York, delivering door-to-door. But when…

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Corsi’s

Since 1958, this family-owned and -operated mainstay in Livonia, Michigan, has celebrated success with top-quality Italian specialties and down-home hospitality. In 1958, Italian immigrants Rocco and Adelia Corsi moved to Livonia, Michigan, where a few family members had a pizzeria—and helped them grab their own slice of the pie. Corsi’s (corsisbanquethalls.net) opened with pasta dishes…

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Zaffiro’s Pizza & Bar

For a small pizza joint with “no ambience,” this shop ranks among Milwaukee’s most popular pizza spots. Liborio “Bobby” Zaffiro owned a tavern in the Italian section of Milwaukee in 1951—until a road trip to the East with friends revealed pizza’s popularity. “At the time, there was only one other pizza place in Milwaukee,” recalls…

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Sammy’s Pizza

Sam and Louise Perrella couldn’t make ends meet in 1954 on Minnesota’s Iron Range—until they discovered the seductive power of pizza. Sammy’s Pizza (mysammys.com), like many other pizzerias, was born of hardship. In 1954, husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Sam and Louise Perrella couldn’t make ends meet with typical jobs, so they decided to open a pizza shop….

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Pizza Hut

As co-founders of the world’s no. 1 pizza chain, Frank and Dan Carney forever altered the pizza industry. Then, Frank veered off in a direction that no one was expecting. When Pizza Hut started in 1958, its name aptly fit the 600-square-foot space into which it was crammed. Two brothers, Frank and Dan Carney, started…

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HUNT BROTHERS PIZZA

Over 50-plus years, Hunt Brothers Pizza has grown from a wholesale pizza route to a c-store powerhouse. In 1962, having grown up working in the restaurant of their father, four brothers—Don, Lonnie, Jim and Charlie Hunt—began a local wholesale food route they named Pepe’s Pizza. At first, they distributed par-baked pizza crusts, dough balls and…