Archive for the ‘History’ Category
January 4th, 2013
We opened our Broadway Pizzeria on Capitol Hill 30 years ago. To celebrate, on Saturday we are rolling back prices to what they were in 1983.
If you were around, 1983 was a pretty memorable year. Even for those too young to remember, it was one of those years that has just remained in the cultural zeitgeist. The Star Wars trilogy came to a close with the release of The Return of the Jedi, Jennifer Beals popularized off-the-shoulder sweatshirts in Flashdance and a computer named Joshua peskily kept asking a young Matthew Broderick if he wanted to play a game in Wargames. Tom Cruise rocketed to fame dancing in his underwear in Risky Business and Al Pacino introduced us to his little friend in Scarface.
I vividly remember watching Michael Jackson perform the moonwalk for the first time during the TV special, Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever. We watched it over, and over, and over on my uncle’s Betamax. NBC brought us The A-Team, M*A*S*H aired its last episode and Richard Chamberlin played Father Ralph de Bricassart in The Thorn Birds. And I would be remiss not to mention Plinko was added to The Price Is Right.
The Police hit it big with Synchronicity, but Michael Jackson’s Thriller ruled the airwaves, taking the Billboard #1 spot 4 different times and spending 22 weeks at the top of the charts that year. The Cult, The Flaming Lips, NOFX and the Red Hot Chili Peppers all formed in ‘83. And, solving a mystery that had begun in the clubs of New York City a decade earlier, KISS officially unmasked on MTV.
It was the year that saw Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. Vanessa Williams became the first African American to be crowned Miss America. Chrysler introduced the Minivan to the world, spawning a new species known as the Soccer Mom. They soon started showing up in McDonald’s Drive-Thrus to order the new Chicken McNugget.
And at 426 Broadway Avenue East on January 5th, the second Pagliacci Pizzeria opened. It was actually two restaurants in one. During the day it was a pizzeria and at night it turned into a pizzeria in the front and a trattoria in the back (insert mullet joke here). Slices of Cheese were $0.90, Double Pepperoni was $0.95, a slice of Combo was $1.20 and a Primo was just $1.35.
A lot of restaurants and businesses have come and gone on the Hill over the past 30 years, and we’re honored (and more than a little humbled) that our customers continue coming back. Thank you. We really couldn’t have been here this long without you. We look forward to seeing you Saturday for our 30th Anniversary Celebration. We’ll have music from the 80’s (not just Michael Jackson, promise), prizes and slices for a price worth celebrating!
Posted in 30th Anniversary, Events, History | No Comments »
December 17th, 2012
Let’s face it, that particular subgenre of pizza known as “The Hawaiian” (or alternatively, Canadian Bacon and Pineapple, CBP, or my personal favorite, the Swine and Pine) inspires either love or loathing. Pizza purists (particularly folks from the East Coast) regularly come through our pizzeria slice bars and proclaim (often loudly) that “FRUIT DOES NOT BELONG ON PIZZA!” Putting aside the fact that tomatoes are, indeed, taxonomically a fruit, many people think that the combination of the slightly smoky Canadian bacon and the sweetness of the pineapple taste rather great together. Phone Center General Manager Jun Kenney (aka the Voice of Pagliacci) confirms that sales of The Hawaiian are “Huge. Easily one of the top 3 pizzas that are ordered every day.” We’ve built upon that sweet, fruity and slightly salty pairing with our Pear Primo and Prosciutto Fig seasonal pies.
Given the name, you would think that The Hawaiian was invented in Hawaii, or at least on the West Coast. There are some pizza places that even call the combination “The West Coaster.” Surprisingly, the origins of The Hawaiian are actually closer to the East Coast than you might think. According to a 2010 article in the Chatham Daily News, The Hawaiian was born in the city of Chatham in the Canadian province of Ontario. A restaurateur named Sam Panopoulos came up with the combination at his Family Circle Restaurant in 1962.
Chatham is a mere 67 miles from Cleveland, Ohio. As the crow flies, it is less than 550 miles away from the birthplace of pizza in the US, New York City. By way of comparison, it is 2,396 miles from Chatham to Seattle. So the next time someone says that they’re from the East Coast and no one in that part of the country would EVER put fruit on a pizza, you can just grin, share your knowledge of The Hawaiian’s origin, and remind them that Chatham, Canada is a lot closer to New York City then Seattle is!
Posted in History, What's On The Menu | No Comments »
October 24th, 2012
As we get ready to open our newest location in MadisonValley, we thought we’d share a little bit of the site history with you. Because even as the new location itself will be a first (Seattle’s first stand-alone LEED certified pizzeria – making it one of the most environmentally friendly restaurant spaces in the city) the property it occupies has a story to tell, too.
The property, which is at the corner of Madison Street and Lake Washington Blvd, was actually home to Pagliacci’s first Commissary (where we make our pizza dough, pasta dishes and popular Pagliaccio dressing), 20 years ago. We later moved the commissary – first to a location on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, and then to its current location on Capitol Hill.
At one point, the Madison property housed a dry cleaner gas station, amongst other things. While these businesses served the community well, they both left their own environmental footprint on the land, and before we could even break ground on the new location, we had to invest in site cleanup to ensure the property was safe for us to occupy, and was safe for the surrounding community.
But let’s go back even further. Did you know a train line once ran through the Madison Valley? We didn’t either, that is until our architect, Richard Floisand, began researching the site. One of the things he found was that a train trestle ran above the Madison property, and the property itself was the likely location of one of the supports that held the trestle up. This meant that the property included a lot of fill material left over from the 1920’s. And this also meant that we had to put a lot of effort into stabilizing the land so that it could safely house our newest location for a long, longtime.
Seattle is a relatively young city, but Madison Valley is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, and we’re happy that we get to play a part in its future. While it took a lot of work to get the site ready, it gave us a chance to learn about the site for our newest location. We’re looking forward to opening our doors very soon, and to becoming part of this community’s fabric and ongoing history for years to come.
Posted in Growing Greener, History, Locations | No Comments »
Floisand Studio's rendering of the Madison location.
February 24th, 2012
Any guesses on the translation of the title?
The Academy Awards are this Sunday, and (master of the segue that I am,) I thought I would take on a question that is heard in many of our locations: “So, just what is the story with the Italian movie posters, anyway?”
When our founder, Dorene Centioli-McTigue opened up our first pizzeria in the University District, she thought that the walls were, well, a bit bare.
Originally, she hung some photos she had taken of uncooked pasta. After a couple of years she felt that they just didn’t really fit in the restaurant anymore, and started to look around to see what she could replace them with. During a trip to Los Angeles she saw some Italian movie posters in a shop. She really liked them, but they were pretty expensive, so she thought that she would look for some the next time she went to Italy. While visiting Rome, she did not have a lot of luck getting posters from any of the theaters, but she was directed to a video shop near Campo Fiori, not too far from the Piazza Navona. The owner, Marco, was a real fan of Hollywood and had quite a bit of movie memorabilia. Dorene explained what she was looking for and he agreed to start collecting them for her. She would pick them up and bring them back on subsequent trips. It just kind of grew from there.
They are quite the conversation starter, that is for sure! It is always fun to try to figure out how different the American title is from the Italian one. Enjoy the Oscars!
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February 27th, 2009
Pagliacci's first logo.
The very first Pagliacci logo featured a clown. It was published on the first menus, but never made it in neon. It took us a year before putting a sign up at our pizza joint on The Ave. At that time we dropped the clown and simply stuck with our name. The image reappears every now and then. While we don’t feature the image often, the clown lives on in spirit… even after 30 years.
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