Shakeys Pizza – An American Classic
Shakeys Pizza
The Beginning

Shakey’s Pizza was formed on April 30th in Sacramento, California in the year 1954, by Sherwood “Shakey” Johnson and Ed Plummer. Johnson got the nickname “Shakey” because of some neurological damage he suffered as a result of malaria while serving in WWII. During it’s grand opening, Shakey’s only sold beer because the pizza ovens were not yet setup. The profits from the beer sales bought plenty of ingredients for that excellent pizza that was about to be born!

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Shakeys Pizza
Shakey The Jazzman

Shakey was a huge fan of Dixieland jazz and was a pretty decent piano player himself. He entertained his customers with popular tunes and eventually hired other musicians. He paid them $10 a night and all the pizza and beer they wanted. Not a bad deal back in 1954! Eventually, some of the top jazz acts in the country would find a home at this fine establishment.

Shakeys Pizza apron
Movin’ on Up

Skakey’s began to open more locations and by 1967, he owned 272 pizza parlors in the USA! For cross-traffic, he decided to open stores next to the popular Kinney Shoes. Hey, it worked out well for both companies! In 1968, their first international pizza parlor opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. By the mid 70s, they also expanded into Asia. Some of those stores are still open over there!

A Family Affair

Going to Shakey’s became a tradition for many families and entire schools would have pizza parties with rows and rows of park benches. Lots of games, pizza and beer for the adults!

patriotic apparel
Window Pizza

Stuckey’s was known for having large windows looking into the prep area so that customers could watch how the pizzas were being made. Kids absolutely loved it!

Retro T-shirts

Shakey Johnson sold his stake in the pizza chain in 1967 for 3 million dollars. The company changed owners a few times and as a result, stores started closing in the USA. Although there was a decline in America, by 1987 Shakey’s Pizza parlors thrived in Asia with almost 200 locations!

Shakeys Pizza sign

The good news is that there are still a few Shakey’s Pizza Parlors open. Below is a current list:

Southern California

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Bernardino County

Riverside County

San Diego County

Northern California

Butte County


Franklin County

King County

Shakeys Pizza pic

You can visit Shakey’s website below:

Shakey’s Pizza might have faced some setbacks in the USA, but its unwavering popularity in Asia and few surviving locations in America prove that it is an American classic that is here to stay. With a unique thin crust, a delicious sauce, and a variety of toppings, Shakey’s pizzas have won over the taste buds of generations. And let’s not forget those unforgettable memories of birthday parties and family gatherings at Shakey’s Pizza Parlors, where kids could watch the dough being tossed into the air and eagerly wait for their favorite pie.

If you’re lucky enough to live near one of the few remaining Shakey’s Pizza Parlors, make sure to pay them a visit to experience this classic American pizza joint. Alternatively, you can order online from their website for delivery or takeout. Either way, make sure to indulge in a Shakey’s Pizza, and relive those cherished memories or create new ones that will last a lifetime. Shakey’s Pizza – Truly an American classic.

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31 responses to “Shakeys Pizza – An American Classic”

  1. Mike Austing Avatar
    Mike Austing

    I used to go to one in Dayton, OH frequently. Good food and there was a large screen TV playing movies-great place to take my girlfriend!

  2. […] before starting, he proved to be a popular success. He would remain the face of A&W’s advertising throughout the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. However, by the latter portion of the ‘90s, he had […]

  3. Forrest m Charlton Avatar
    Forrest m Charlton

    any Shakey’s in Indiana? we used to have one in Muncie

  4. Bob Avatar

    Shakeys needs to come back to northwest Indiana..


    1. LINDA Quick Avatar
      LINDA Quick

      And Appleton Wisconsin.

  5. Jack Avatar

    I miss the ones in Memphis. I sure wish they could return, like Whataburger and Bojangles did.

  6. Stan Kabat Avatar
    Stan Kabat

    My Neighbor that has passed away owned several Shakey’s in Washington State and Alaska His name was Dan Raser

  7. Delories Sattler Avatar
    Delories Sattler

    I went to Shakeys in Parkland, Washington

  8. Carroll S Rogers Avatar
    Carroll S Rogers

    In Idaho they were pizza -beer -pool tables on the lower part Families w children could come -eat- if your children were 12 & older: families could sit in lower section / family’s could shoot pool -eat- pizza & dad’s usually could drink beers.It was only draft beer in start. Then yrs later they changed & all families w children had to be gone by 8pm & lower & upper started serving canned & bottle beer Lucky xx beer was top beer along w Ranier from Olympia WA//// Then Coors came to Idaho & Budweiser followed..Ranier & Lucky xx always competed Took forever for them to be gone Oh yeah Schlitz was there a long w Bush ( nastiest of all) we use to say my goats watering probably taste better( referring to MT Goats we hunted & ate.

  9. Neil Avatar

    Loved Pizza there at the one in Richmond, BC in the 70s!!

  10. David Richardson Avatar
    David Richardson

    Went to the one in Memphis, Tennessee on Poplar avenue back in the last 1960’s and early 1970’s…
    They had a player piano and we as kids had a blast going there…

  11. Brad Dyck Avatar
    Brad Dyck

    Shakey’s in Winnipeg was the it place for me. So many memories🍕.

  12. Ray Anderson Avatar
    Ray Anderson

    As a US Marine we used to go to Shakey’s pizza in the Philippines . It was always a peace of home.

  13. David W Avatar
    David W

    Loved the one in Little Rock. Great pizza, good times!

  14. […] Around the same time, Boston Ventures began selling off company-owned locations to try and repay over $26 million in debt. By 2004, the company owed only $3.5 million but decided to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Their next move sent shockwaves across the nation as they closed every company-owned location on the Friday of Valentine’s weekend during the dinner rush. […]

  15. Todd Philipsen Avatar
    Todd Philipsen

    Loved Bunch a lunch and the player piano!!!!

  16. dennis marvin Avatar
    dennis marvin

    how can i get a order of mo jo s

  17. Steve coffel Avatar
    Steve coffel

    Back in the sixties there were Shakeys pizzas in the Kansas City area not sure if it is the same company or not. Spent many a Friday and Saturday there

  18. Barbara Plaster Avatar
    Barbara Plaster

    We had a couple in Northern Virginia in the 1980’s. We stopped for lunch on Saturdays after a swim meet. They had a lunch buffet. I had 6 or more kids who had just been swimming all morning & they were starved! They loved the buffet & Shakey’s never made a dime on this group. We all looked forward to going there.

  19. Chris Avatar

    Had my last meal at Shakeys in Fargo, right next to the MEPS center, March 7th, 1984, then off to basic training at Lackland AFB. Had 2 Shakeys in Fargo then, and 1 North of us in Grand Forks, I sure do miss their pizza and the other good stuff they served.

    1. THOMAS R FLIETH. JR Avatar

      I loved the mo jo s and the lunch buffet.I went to the one’s in Fargo N.D

  20. Walter Barrett Avatar
    Walter Barrett

    Loved the Shakey’s here in NE Colorado in high school during the 70s. Order a pizza and play the Flim Flam arcade machine (Pong on steroids).

  21. Bob Avatar

    Enjoyed Shakey’s in Northridge Ca. as a teen after Baseball and in Visalia Ca as an adult. Loved their Bunch-a-Lunch. Thanks for all the Great Memories and Great Pizza. Wish there was one close by now Live in Morro Bay Ca.

  22. Jeffrey Estein Avatar
    Jeffrey Estein

    We use to eat at the one in Anaheim California all the time. It was the best!!!

  23. John Shelley Avatar
    John Shelley

    Shakey’s was my first job that I had I was 15 years old and had a lot of fun working for him

  24. Leonard Persinger Avatar
    Leonard Persinger

    Love the one in Clarksville Tennessee

  25. keithmillernet Avatar

    Mobile, Alabama in the 1960s. Loved those long tables and the juke box in the big open room. Every weekend before bowling.

  26. Donald Frantz II Avatar
    Donald Frantz II

    Columbus, Ohio – Hamilton Rd just south of Broad St. – 1960s
    Great place for family fun, great pizza. Enjoyed the sing-a-long.

  27. Bill Stott Avatar
    Bill Stott

    Worked at one on 100th Street in Lakewood, Washington. 1966 to 1967. Went from cook to Sunday Manager (no alcohol on Sundays at the time). Best pizza in town. Fun too.

  28. C. Pav Avatar
    C. Pav

    Started working at the Sioux City Shakeys when I was 15 .Styed until I was out of collage. A lot of good memories.

  29. George A. Paniagua Avatar
    George A. Paniagua

    2nd greatest invention,Bunch of Lunch,next step,offer same for Dinner!

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