History

Our History

Pizzi Café started around 1934 and was initially named “Tony Pizzi” after its founder who is pictured to the left.

 

Beginning as an Italian neighborhood bar where friends could meet and enjoy drinks and conversation, it all changed just before 1939 after Tony made a trip back to Boston where other Pizzi immigrants settled and where he previously resided. While in Boston he came across and acquired the original, and still used, pizza recipe for Pizzi Café.

At that time pizza was only an Italian family food that was made in the home in square sheets. So Tony Pizzi brought back to Northeast Ohio this recipe for round pizza, which no one had ever seen before… and the rest is history as Pizzi Café became maybe the first pizzeria in the United States Midwest region. For historical purposes, as an example, the famous Chicago pizza history does not begin until the 1940s. Therefore, the history of pizza at Pizzi Café precedes the famous “Chicago Style” pizza.

 

Pizzi Café operates following the same objectives as Tony Pizzi. It is a friendly, family owned and operated, clean, smoke-free restaurant with a unique atmosphere where friends and families can meet and enjoy quality homemade pizza, pasta and more. Pizzi Café is, in fact, a truly unique neighborhood dining experience that has been lost over the years in our now fast-paced world. Quite frankly, no franchise or chain restaurant or pizzeria can compare.

 

The actual brick building that the café is housed in today was originally two fish drying buildings that were moved from the lakefront (Lake Erie) area just four blocks away. The buildings were combined to make the original Pizzi Café structure. Being a mason by trade, Mr. Pizzi bricked the buildings together after moving them from the lakefront . The same brick facing on the building remains today.

The old photographs on this website, posted for your enjoyment, illustrate some of the deep and rich history of the business. If only the walls could talk! There are many more old photos posted throughout the restaurant as well for you to enjoy. Come and have a look at them. We welcome you to try Pizzi Café and experience the wonderful atmosphere, the excellent home made food and feel a bit of the history during your visit.