2012 Holiday Party

Vice President of Operations Jeff Woodruff fires up the crowd.

Around this time every year, we shut the ovens down early and gather together for our annual employee Holiday Party. Past years have seen our crew taking over such venues as Capitol Hill’s Chop Suey, The Georgetown Ballroom and for many years, the late, lamented Sunset Bowl.

Before it closed in 2008, our holiday parties enjoyed legendary status with the Sunset employees. They often wondered what we would think up next. Past party antics included our takes on The Weakest Link, The Gong Show, Fear Factor (where finalists had to eat balut to win a coveted prize) and Survivor. The Survivor challenge actually ran over a couple of months, and just like the TV show, the finale was live at our holiday party. The lucky top two stores had the dubious distinction of bobbing for smelt at our party. The Sunset employees had just about as much fun as we did trying to figure out what we would do every year.

The Crocodile in Belltown was the site of this year’s party. Music from dj100proof and the opportunity to hang out with friends away from the ovens made for a great evening. Once again, we upheld the proud Pagliacci tradition of contests. Rather than tests of intellect or how much grossness one could stand (see balut reference above), this year offered an exhibition of physical talent. Pure brawn and an iron will helped Kassandra Bolin from our Kenmore Delivery Kitchen win a very hard- fought hula hoop battle. Mollie Carriveau from our Main Street Delivery Kitchen showed how low she could go and took the Limbo trophy. We also held a prize raffle. Judging by the cheers, Seahawks tickets were the most coveted prize of the night!

Cinema…Italian Style!

Put on your sunglasses, hop on your Vespa and buzz on over to Queen Anne for SIFF’s Fourth Annual Seattle Italian Film Festival! We are proud to sponsor this year’s Festival, which opens Thursday the 15th and runs through the 20th. Opening the Festival is Reality, a black comedy set in Naples about a fisherman who tries to get onto the reality show Big Brother. Directed by Matteo Garrone, Reality  won the Grand Prix award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The Festival will also be screening Italy’s Official Oscar submission, Caeser Must Die, about a director staging Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar  in Rome’s maximum security Rebibbia prison. Fans of classic Italian cinema will enjoy films featuring two of cinema’s most celebrated actresses, Ingrid Bergman and Sophia Loren.

In collaboration with the Festival, you can sample Italian cuisine and learn about Italian culture at the Taste of Italy on November 17th at the SIFF Film Center. Free and open to the public, wine, art, short films, opera and food tasting will be offered, as well as the chance to win a trip to Italy! Ticket information and show times can be found at SIFF’s website. Don’t forget, you can save $2 off of the usual $10 General Admission price if you use the promo code ITALIAN2012. Matinees are not included, but you can redeem the code online, over the phone or at the box office. Buon divertimento!

Madison

Our newest Delivery Kitchen!

Our newest Delivery Kitchen!

The promise of free slices beckoned crowds of hungry Madison Valley dwellers to the opening of our newest location last Thursday.  Curious neighborhood residents made their way in to marvel at the building that had gone up so quickly. Students from nearby schools quickly found the lure of free pizza impossible to resist. A bus full of hungry students from The Bush School pulled up and made our cooks momentarily very nervous (nothing scarier than a bus full of hungry teenagers!) but they were able to weather the storm of slice orders that followed. They were glad that they did, as the Garfield Cross Country team arrived just after the Bush School left. After the slice giveaway ended at 5pm, General Manager Mike Young and Associate Manager Brandon Ogestelli switched into delivery mode. At long last, Pagliacci Pizza was delivering to the Madison Valley! In addition to Madison Park, their evening drivers now deliver to Madrona, Capitol Hill and part of the Central District.

Both Mike and Brandon were inspired with the warm reception they received from the community throughout the weekend. They both enjoyed seeing the number of neighborhood families that came to see the new location. With the Bush School, Garfield, O’Dea, Seattle Prep and the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences all nearby, Mike expects that the new Madison location will very quickly become a popular gathering spot for the neighborhood. Thank you for the great welcome, Madison Valley! We are very glad to be here!

Halloween is almost here!

Whether it’s billed as a Harvest Festival or Halloween, everyone knows that the last week in October is always about 2 things: costumes and more importantly, CANDY. According to the National Confectioners Association, more than 93% of kids go trick or treating each year.  How much candy they ultimately get is a good question…about 90% of parents admit to sneaking treats from their kids’ trick or treat bags! Because Halloween is in the middle of the week this year, some neighborhoods are choosing to celebrate early. Here are a few places that we’ll be getting our sugar fix this Halloween!

 

Hilloween  – For kids and adults of all ages, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce brings “Hilloween” to Cal Anderson Park on Sunday the 28th from noon to 6 pm. Featured performers include Sgt. Rigsby and his Amazing Silhouettes, Recess Monkey and YouTube sensation Jenny and her Ukulele.  There will also be carnival games, spooky stories, a costume parade around the park, and trick or treating. Best of all, there will be a pizza party at our Broadway Pizzeria at 4:00pm. Kids in costume with their parents will get a free slice!

The West Seattle Junction will be closing the streets for their Harvest Festival this Sunday as well! Activities include the West Seattle Farmers Market, Harvest Craft activities, a kid’s costume parade and trick or treating! Yes, our West Seattle Delivery Kitchen will be passing out candy!

 

 

 

On Halloween, Bellevue Square will host a variety of events from 5-7pm. Roving clowns (hopefully not of the scary kind!) will be tying balloons, kids can investigate the science of slime and dry ice at the Mad Science Booth and the hardest workin’ band on Halloween, Recess Monkey, will be putting on a performance at Bellevue Square Center Court. And of course, there will be trick or treating! Our Bellevue Square Pizzeria will have plenty of candy for all the little ghosts, goblins, witches, pirates and princesses that come by!

 

For you folks up on the North End, if you come into our Kenmore Delivery Kitchen wearing a costume from 11-2pm we’ll “TREAT” you to a free slice!

We’ll be starting delivery at 4pm on Halloween and continuing our annual tradition of scaring away vampires by providing garlic as a topping on any whole pie for free!

A Night for Kevin

Kevin Eastwood

Kevin Eastwood

Monday night we took some time to gather for Kevin Eastwood. Kevin has been with Pagliacci for the past couple of years. He was hit by a car at the beginning of August and suffered a serious head injury, a fractured clavicle and a fractured pelvis. With family on the East Coast, the travel bills alone are enormous and we wanted to help out in any way we could. The Thirsty Fish on Holman Road in Ballard graciously hosted the benefit for him. Our friends at Georgetown Brewery donated a keg of Manny’s Pale Ale and Roger’s Pilsner. All the proceeds from the keg sales went to help fund Kevin’s medical expenses.

Along with the donated beer we raffled and auctioned items like a Kindle Fire, a keg of beer from award winning brewer and 85th Street General Manager Jim Tanguay, 10 pounds of bacon cured by Crossroads General Manager Paul Williams, Seahawk’s tickets and gift certificates to local restaurants including Tom Douglas’s Restaurants and Thierry Rautureau’s Luc in Madison Park. Our most popular auction items of the night were the chance to put a pie in the face of a Pagliacci manager. Louis Uhm, the owner of the Thirsty Fish, even got a pie in the face from a couple of his regulars! Everyone had a great time, and altogether we raised nearly $7,000 for Kevin!

It’s often been said that the restaurant community takes care of its own, and we’d like to give a special thanks to The Thirsty Fish, the Tom Douglas Restaurant Group, Thierry Rautureau, Macrina Bakery and DeLaurenti Food & Wine for their generous donation of gift certificates.

Kevin is finally being released from Harborview and flying back to New York with his dad tomorrow. Although he was not able to make it to the benefit, he will be going home with a whole bunch of support from his friends and co-workers. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back out in Seattle as soon as he can make it!

Start your engines!

Vrooooom!

Vrooooom!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages!  Racing season is back! Get ready to rev your engines for the return of the Zucchini 500!

Every year, the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance holds its annual Zucchini 500 races at a few Farmers Markets around the city and we are proud to sponsor this year’s event. On race days, a veritable mountain of local zucchini awaits children of all ages. They can take as long as they like to make their own custom-built zucchini racers to compete against each other on the Market’s track.  The Market provides the zucchini, wheels and decorations. According to Claire Leamy from the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, the first Zucchini 500 was held at the Columbia City Farmers Market sometime before 2002 (no one can remember quite when) to celebrate the bounty of the local zucchini crop. It has since become a highly anticipated and very popular part of the summer market season.

We’re very excited to be sponsors of this fun event. We’ll be joining the races with a hands-on tossing demonstration.  You will have an opportunity to learn how to toss pizza dough like our cooks do. It’s great fun for kids young and old! After you build your Zucchini 500, why not try one of ours? We’ve created a special pizza to celebrate the races. Our Zucchini 500 Primo is only available for a limited time.

This year’s races will be held at the Lake City Farmers Market on Thursday, August 16th from 3 pm to 6pm, the Magnolia Farmers Market on Saturday, August 25th from 10 am to 1 pm, the Columbia City Farmers Market on Wednesday, September 12th from 3 pm to 6 pm and the West Seattle Farmers Market on Sunday, September 16th from 10 am to 1 pm. We’ll see you there!

For Tyrone

Safety first. Please wear a lifejacket!

Today would have been Tyrone Fabroa’s 37th birthday. To mark the occasion, his brother Kevin Sayson and sister Abby Manibusan reached out to Seattle Children’s Hospital for their help in organizing an event to raise awareness for drowning prevention and water safety. Kevin was delighted to hear that Children’s Hospital would help. The event was held today at the Marina Pavilion Park in Kirkland. After a few words of welcome from Kevin, Elizabeth “Tizzy” Bennett from Children’s Hospital and Deputy James Knauss from the King Country Sherriff’s Office each spoke briefly about the need for water safety education and the importance of wearing a life jacket. Deputy Knauss likened life jackets to bike helmets. “It wasn’t really cool to wear a bike helmet a few years ago” said Deputy Knauss, “but now you see them all the time. I’d like to see that happen with life jackets.” Two of Tyrone’s friends, Daniel Paet and Burt Javier, lightened things up a bit with an acoustic performance.

Many of Tyrone’s coworkers from Pagliacci were in attendance, and Kevin said he was amazed at the support that he has received from the Pagliacci family.

KING 5 and KCPQ 13 were there, and KING 5’s Meg Coyle will broadcast a report about the event on their 5 pm newscast.

A table full of life jackets for kids were collected, and $180 was collected to help fund efforts to raise water safety awareness. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Honoring Tyrone Fabroa

A year ago we were devastated by the loss of Tyrone Fabroa, the General Manager of our Broadway Pizzeria. His tragic paddleboard accident on Lake Washington sent a wave of grief throughout Pagliacci. Tyrone’s 10-year legacy with us touched all of our managers, many of our crew and many more of our customers.  Tyrone’s ready smile and infectious laugh brightened the day of everyone that he met and he was a joy to work with. He was always up for anything, especially if good-natured mischief was involved. He was an outstanding member of the Pagliacci team and we will always miss him terribly.

In honor of his memory, his family has partnered with Seattle Children’s Hospital to hold an event on Monday, August 6th (Tyrone’s birthday), to raise water safety awareness and help prevent drowning accidents. The event will include a life jacket drive (kids sizes only please) and will run from 1pm to 6pm at the Marina Pavilion Park in Kirkland.  All are welcome to attend the event.

Summer Outdoor Movies

Bellevue's 40 Foot Outdoor Screen

During their heyday in the late 1950’s and early 60’s, there were about 4000 drive- ins in the United States. Rising land prices and the economic challenges presented by running a seasonal theater reduced that number to a mere 300 drive-ins in operation today and there is only one left near Seattle.

While drive-ins have been disappearing, outdoor movies are on the rise. There are a few organizations running outdoor movie series around the area this summer. Marymoor and Magnuson Parks both have series that charge a $5 admission fee and Fremont has its own “Almost Free”  $5 outdoor cinema as well. Of course, it being Fremont, the audience participation is a show in itself!

We are proud to be sponsoring two series this summer, the West Seattle Outdoor Movies and the Summer Outdoor Movies in the Park in Bellevue.  Both are free, feature pre-show activities and the proceeds from the sales of concessions and raffle tickets go to charities and non-profits.

There’s no need to stuff your friends into the trunk of your car to sneak them in or worry about whether or not the radio is actually going to pick up the sound from the movie. Bring the family, a blanket and maybe a sweater for after the sun goes down and have a great time!

4th of July Company Picnic

On the 4th of July we hold it to be self evident that people don’t eat pizza. So we give our staff and our pizza ovens the day off in order to picnic, play and eat lots (and LOTS) of tasty grillables at our annual employee picnic. Chicken, burgers, brats, hot dogs, veggie burgers, sausages…just about anything except pizza! After people had a chance to eat and let things settle, we held our annual Pizzalympics.

Our pizzathletes train rigorously year round following a grueling schedule of tossing pizza dough, folding boxes while blindfolded, and strategizing about how they can score a ringer for the ultimate event at the Pizzalympics, that supreme arbiter of store superiority, the event which the winning store lords over everyone else until the next picnic…The Tug of War.

This year’s parade of pizza prowess was no different. Queen Anne’s Mark Bell became a blur of hands as he took the prize for fastest box folding.  Hugo Uitzel-Tun from Bridle Trails, who placed second in our 2012 March Madness Cook competition, easily took the prize for fastest toss.  Queen Anne’s ribbon count increased to two when Warren Murphy showed that size does indeed matter as he threw out a massive dough for the biggest dough contest. Not all of the challenges were individual events, however.  The punishing test of wits, reflexes and true grit known as the Pizzalympics Relay Race takes a toll every year. Teams work to fold boxes while blindfolded, toss out a dough with 2 people (each using one hand) and deliver it to the finish line after spinning around a baseball bat 10 times. University Pizzeria prevailed. Then one event remained. Would the Queen Anne Pizzeria be a three-ribbon winner? The crowd held its breath as they struggled to find glory. In the end, Kenmore Delivery Kitchen pulled their way to victory. Congratulations to the winners. You can bet that the competition will be just as fierce next year!

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