We’re 40! Some might call that old, but in restaurant years, 40 is legendary –Sasquatch legendary– heard of, but rarely seen. We’ve seen a lot in our 40 years and learned a little along the way. Here’s a list of 40 facts about Pagliacci Pizza:
1. We opened our first location in the University District on the Ave in February 1979!
2. Pagliacci originally decorated the walls with pictures of uncooked pasta. Shortly after opening, the uncooked pasta was replaced with our iconic Italian movie posters. We’ve been purchasing them from the same store in Rome ever since, Hollywood Tutto Sul Cinema!
3. We’ve been sourcing Italian sausage from Seattle’s own Cascioppo Bros Meats since day one.
4. Our best-selling pizza (besides the Original Cheese and Extra Pepp) is the Brooklyn Bridge.
5. Do you know what AGOG stands for? Legend has it that AGOG used to stand for the ingredients on the pizza when it was first created. Others say we’re simply AGOG about delicious pizza. You choose!
6. Over 60% of our food purchases are sourced from the Northwest. We love and support local!
7. When we first opened, our “Primo Pies” were pizzas made with a thicker focaccia-style crust. We only offered this type of crust until 1982. We reintroduced Primo pizzas as our specialty pies on our normal crust in 1985.
8. Our Commissary in Kent makes the dough for all of our locations! Our first Commissary was located in Madison 6 months after we opened. We moved the Commissary to Rainier Valley in the 90s and another company moved into that location. Everything came full circle in 2012 when we opened our first LEED-certified store in the same spot.
9. We were named Best Pizza in Seattle Weekly’s first ever reader poll in 1985. We have championed this category ever since, that is until they temporarily added “excluding Pagliacci” to the category name.
10. Remember Almost Live? We began our “sponsorship” in 1989 until the final episode aired in 1999.
11. We’ve always used fresh mushrooms - never canned!
12. Once upon a time, we didn’t have computers. When testing delivery service out of our Queen Anne location, orders were taken by hand and customer preferences were kept in a Rolodex. That’s a true dedication to customer service!
13. Halloween is our busiest night of the year, every year, and we used to give away garlic as a free topping to ward off vampires.
14. Our designated one phone number system began when we opened our first delivery kitchen on 55th St. It wasn’t until 1998 that the location of our current phone center opened.
15. We started delivering to you in ‘92 and also began publishing our community newsletter.
16. Our establishments went smoke-free in 1993! The cigarette smoke changed the way the pizza crust tasted.
17. We’re movie stars! In 1992 we were featured in Singles and our most recent film credit was 50/50, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogan and Anna Kendrick in 2011!
18. Our first ever seasonal pizza was the Asparagus Primo, introduced in 1993. The recipe has been improved over the years, but we still continue to feature Washington State asparagus every May.
19. Our top-selling seasonal pie is the Summer Heirloom! If it’s one of your favorites, you’re in luck! The Summer Heirloom is coming up as our seasonal pie in mid-July!
20. The worst selling pizza to date is the Clam. This one has never made a comeback.
21. In 1995, Bon Appetit Magazine dubbed Pagliacci one of the best pizza places in America.
22. Luigi, our proprietary internal sales program used at all of our stores, was created in-house in 1995 and we still use it today.
23. In 1996, we opened our 145th Street location right on the city line, taking our delivery service beyond the City of Seattle!
24. Our first Eastside location opened in 1998, Bridle Trails!
25. The Grand Salami Primo was created when the Mariners were on a 116-game winning streak in 2001. The 12th Man Primo was named for all the Hawks fans out there!
26. We launched the first version of our website in 2001.
27. We added gelato to our delivery menu in 2001, partnering with Gelatiamo. Can you guess the best-selling flavors? Chocolate takes the cake year-round, and Orange Cream is our #1 seasonal flavor!
28. Around 2005, when Salumi in Pioneer Square became USDA Certified, Pagliacci Pizza was their first wholesale customer and helped to introduce their Spicy Pepperoni with our Salumi Primo.
29. Composting is everywhere now! We were one of the first restaurants to work with Cedar Grove Composting to develop their commercial composting program back in 2006.
30. Who loves Macrina Bakery? In 2007, Pagliacci began selling breadsticks made by Macrina!
31. Remember Sonjaya from American Idol? He worked at our University location shortly after his time on American Idol! He was hired by Jason Cheung, who was a contestant on America’s Got Talent.
32. To date, our average GM Tenure 10.77 years.
33. We purchase Green Power from both Seattle City Light and Puget Sound Energy. Key sources are Washington State dams, the Stateline Wind Project and Hanford Solar Facility starting in 2006. In 2015, we were the 10th biggest purchaser of Green Power in Seattle.
34. We love to support the local arts and have teamed up with Vera Project in the past to help organize our internal Battle of the Bands competition that we hold every few years. Our last competition was in June 2018.
35. In 2007, we were mentioned in the published book Killing Spree by local writer Kevin O’Brien.
36. We have served over 16,200 meals at the Cathedral Kitchen since we began supporting them in 2011.
37. Our Pi Day deal was born on March 14th, 2015 (3.14.15), and inspired by West Mercer Elementary teacher Mr. Tivnan “Mr. T”.
38. Do you call in your order or place it digitally? Our customers are split 50/50. We launched our rewards app in 2018 and to date, 52% of orders are made digitally through the app and website.
39. Did you hear we now deliver beer and wine? It’s a whole new world in 2019.
40. June 4th is officially Pagliacci Pizza Day! Don’t believe us? Ask Mayor Jenny Durkan. She made the proclamation on June 4th, 2019.