louies-teaser

Louie’s Restaurant

Through five generations, one Allentown, Penn. family’s love of food—and each other—has kept this business thriving. Louie’s Restaurant in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has been family-run throughout its 50-year history. In 1958, Sue and Gino Belletieri opened up their first restaurant business (then called Gino’s) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, serving up Italian fare from recipes handed down to…

vince the pizza prince exterior

Vince the Pizza Prince

Spurred on by the women in his life, Vince Cianfichi’s pizza joint has thrived since 1955 with a formula that honors high quality, family ties and tradition. Behind every great pizza man, there’s a great pizza woman, and that goes for Vince Cianfichi Sr., better known around Scranton, Pennsylvania, as “Vince the Pizza Prince.” Cianfichi…

delucas-teaser

DeLuca’s Restaurant and Pizzeria

This Michigan shop introduced several pizza innovations to Lansing, including the tuna pizza. Opened in 1960, the Willow Bar started out as a neighborhood watering hole for nearby factory workers in Lansing, Michigan. But the pizza they served—developed by Italian immigrants Pat DeLuca and his brother Jim—became so popular the business eventually switched its name…

pasquales-preview

Pasquale’s Restaurant and Pizzeria

Since 1954, this pizzeria has thrived on historic Woodward Avenue with authentic, one-of-a-kind pies. We couldn’t tell it any better ourselves, so, for a change of pace, we’ll let the Del Giudice family, owners of Pasquale’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, tell their own story after 55 years of family-style service: “At the height of the pizza…

homeruninn-preview

Home Run Inn

This pizzeria, named after an errant baseball, has hit home runs in the frozen-food and family markets. Home Run Inn began in 1923 as a small tavern on Chicago’s South Side. Founded by Mary and Vincent Grittani, the tavern received its name when a baseball from the neighborhood park smashed through one of the windows….

Aurelio-preview

Aurelio’s

This once-modest operation evolved into the self-proclaimed world’s largest pizzeria—and a multistate franchise. Joe Aurelio Jr. started Aurelio’s Pizza in 1959 with a $2,500 loan. Business was initially slow at the little four-seat restaurant; Aurelio kept it afloat through sales of his beef sandwiches—only six or seven pizzas were usually sold in an evening. But…

Shields-preview

Shield’s Pizza

This Motor City institution is passionate about its pizza, but it’s also well-loved by the community for its heart. In 1940s Detroit, pizza was picking up steam as a favorite food. When a former employee of a local pizzeria brought his recipe to the Polish owners of Shield’s Bar, pies were quickly added to the…

Bills-preview

Bill’s Pizza & Pub

Divine intervention played a role in keeping this little Illinois underdog—now famous for its two-crusted Double Decker pies—afloat when it first opened in 1957. When most teens in the ’50s were cruising around town and lining up dates, 17-year-old Bill Kwiatkowski was embarking on entrepreneurship, purchasing a tiny sandwich shack in Mundelein, Illinois. He had…

Ken Petti, with his wife, Almeda, introduced Master Pizza in 1955.

Master Pizza

After nearly 60 years in business, this Cleveland-area pizzeria keeps up with the times through aggressive marketing and social media strategies. Not long after opening Master Pizza (masterpizza.com) in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, in 1955, founder Ken Petti was primed for impressive growth. By 1960, he took on four partners to start franchising—the first business to…

Lombardi’s, opened in 1905, is credited as the country’s first pizzeria

Lombardi’s Pizzeria

Credited as the first pizzeria in the country, this Little Italy institution has been churning out coal-fired pies—and inspiring young pizzaiolos—for nearly 110 years. When Gennaro Lombardi, a bread baker from Naples, Italy, set up shop in New York’s Little Italy in 1905, he forever changed the course of American eating habits. Serving the then-predominantly…