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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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Mario’s Restaurant & Pizzeria

Mario Simoni quit his day job at General Motors to start a new life in the pizza business. Mario Simoni worked days at a General Motors plant and nights at a friend’s pizzeria when he decided to strike out on his own. An Italian immigrant, he opened Mario’s Restaurant & Pizzeria in Flint, Michigan, in…

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Little Caesars

Michael and Marian Ilitch took a chance on a little-known snack food called pizza and built a carryout empire. When Michael and Marian Ilitch opened a single pizza shop in Garden City, Michigan, with their $10,000 life savings, they were taking a chance on a little-known snack food called pizza—and on a carryout-only model that…

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Domino’s Pizza

James Monaghan sold his share in DomiNick’s—precursor to the world’s second-largest pizza chain—to brother Tom for a Volkswagen Beetle. With a $75 down payment and a loan of $500, brothers Tom and James Monaghan bought their first pizza store, called DomiNick’s, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1960. James ended up selling his stake in the company…

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Buddy’s Rendezvous Pizza

According to legend, a Buddy’s waitress from Sicily invented the square pizza that would become forever associated with Detroit. When Buddy’s Rendezvous Pizza (buddyspizza.com) served its first pie in 1946, the Detroit (and U.S.) pizza scene was forever changed. Legend has it that a Sicily-born waitress named Connie, employed by then-owner Gus Guerra, developed the…

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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…

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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…

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Fricano’s Pizza Tavern

Even his mother doubted people would pay good money for this thing called “pizza,” but Gus Fricano persisted—and gained a bona fide cult following. In the early 1950s, tavern owner Cosimo Fricano (known as Gus) decided that his menu needed a boost. After seeing a sign that advertised something called “pizza” near Wrigley Field in…