Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pizza in Laredo circa 1980

    It seems that all the good times in Laredo have passed us by. Judging from an old phone book, circa 1980, that I came upon, I guess all the cool pizza places in Laredo no longer exist. Locally owned, mom-pop places have given way to stale and predictable pizza from national chains such as Pizza Hut, Dominos, Cici's and others of their ilk.

However, this was not always the case. Back in 1980, Laredenses could choose from a variety of different pizzerias, both local and national chains. Unfortunately, I have no idea how any of these tasted or whether they were around for a long time. At least the ads in the phonebook look pretty neat and enticing. Take a look at some of the pizza choices we had 30 years ago.

Rustic Cedar atmosphere? How quaint..
1) Pizzazz Pizza actually looks pretty fun. Wine, beer, "rustic cedar atmosphere". Heck it even rhymes! How awesome and how so 1980. This place seems to have been located on Clark St, somewhere in the Heights area of town. Anyone out there remember this place? I sure as heck don't. It's a shame though. It seems like it was a fun place. They even had "Chicago style pizza". Now that kicks Pizzazz..

2) Another pizza choice we had in 1980 was a place called Shakey's. By the looks of it, this was a pizza chain that had games, movies as well as the "world's greatest pizza". Pretty bold statement, I know. I've never heard of this place either, for it seems to have been long gone by 1989 (that's as far back as I remember). Watch a video of a TV commercial here.

3) Sal's Pizza of course is a local landmark that according to a buddy of mine, had some pretty neat bands play live there back in the day. Is Sal's still open? Not sure if it is, but I think I'll call the number on the phonebook Ad (727-4600), just to see who answers. I feel like having a pizza anyway. I hope they deliver...


Que Fregados said...

Sal's pizza is still slinging them (but its a tiny room compared to before all the hand changes). They are El Partner's favorite since they don't cause the same heartburn he gets from other places - but they don't deliver :(.

Wizzard Wick's is back, too!

KeyRose said...

Sal's used to be situated at the food court at Mall del Norte in the 80s. It was right next to the Silver Coin arcade. They always had a special of two slices with a soda for $2.99 or so.

Then in the 90s, Sal's set up shop on San Bernardo. I think one side was set up for Tejano music, and the other for live rock music, with the actuall dining area in the middle.

Sal's is smaller now, located on off of San Bernardo, on Burnside. I've been meaning to go.

Now Shakey's, that was a cool place because they had a buffet that included the pizza, of course, spaghetti, salad, fried chicken, potato wedges, etc. It was a cozy little place. Now it's a Mike's Western Wear (behind Dairy Queen on San Bernardo).

Shakey's had a projector that would feature Little Rascal, or Laurel and Hardy shorts.

Ah, youth.

BT Blues said...



DeLaredo said...

Thanks for the information. I knew the old-timers would fill me in with much needed extra info.

Big O said...

Pizzazz was a great hangout. Beer by the pitcher, pizza was good and the fried mushrooms were awesome! Afterwards, we would meander over to "The Pub"/"After Work Lounge", which was located next door. Pizzazz was at the corner of Seymour & Clark where Wright's Real Estate is now.
Sal's at the Mall food court was also good, I remember always going early to the movies so that I could get a Torta de Cabrito from the torta place next to Sal's and get a few beers from Sal's to wash it down. Those were the days, sitting in the food court drinking beer.

Mike Luna said...

I remember going there in the 70's. They had the Three Stooges playing on the wall.

Mike Luna said...

Don't forget they had The Three Stooges on also.

Bob Roszkowski said...

Just a little history about Sal's Pizza. A lot of people do not know that it was originally called Al's Pizza. The original owner decided to sell the place but not the name. So, they just added an S in front and made history. My favorite was the bread sticks. Located at Mall Del Norte next to the Silver Coin it was the best place to be when you were a kid.

Not sure exactly when but the second owner sold it and the name too. The third owners thought they could open another location and expand their business. They tried new ideas. Meanwhile, the rent at MDN was sky rocketing and they decided to leave the mall.

I feel if they kept focus on the Mall location only, it would still be there today. I use the pizza at the original Sal's as my default to judge other pizza places I visit everywhere.

Shakey's was also another favorite. Pizza was awesome, they had an arcade, and played the shows on the TV's. This place was probably the first time I saw a projection tv.

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