Monday, August 31, 2009

Organ Grinder Pizza Tunes

If only there were still pizza joints like this around.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there was a similar pizzeria somewhere in northern michigan during the 70's and early 80's.  Must've been around the time of Farrel's Ice Cream Parlour.  The closest thing we have these days would be to sneak a hot cup of pizza into the Redford Theater and enjoy it during the pre-show organ performance.  Orrrrrrr...head over to Way Out Junk, where you can snag some free downloads of out-of-print recordings of the actual Organ Grinder Pizza organs.  My personal favorite: Patti Simon's "Saturday Night Fever" medley.

Piece (of pizza)!


  1. I've never been to an actual organ grinder pizza place... Showbiz Ppizza was about the closest. I believe that a one place used to pipe organ musak into the dining room, but there wasn't an actual organ. Hell, I don't even know of many pizza places with actual dining rooms anymore.

    Why don't people like to eat pizza out anymore?!?

  2. I blame Tom Monaghan and the ensuing ubiquity of national pizza delivery chains. Yes, it's unfortunate that going out for a pizza isn't as big a deal as it once was. Though when you're a kid, ANY pizza is a major event. I can remember doing the pizza dance for even the uncooked bakery pizza my dad would bring home after work. Nowadays there are still those little-known spots that offer something unique, whether they be ambience or local flavour, one just needs to seek them out. Still...there are just not enough animatronics and giant organs involved these days (that's what she said).

  3. There was an Organ Pizza Place in Okemos, MI in the early 80's. I had many of their pizzas and they had killer ice cream sundaes also. It was called the Roaring 20's. It is no longer there. Went out of business in the early 90's. There is a "new" Roaring 20's down in Ellenton, Florida: 1 mile from Interstate 75 Exit 224 (formerly Exit 43) 15 miles South of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge or 15 miles North of Sarasota. Maybe I could re-visit my past there!

  4. I lived in Okemos at that time. I think it was called "The Roaring 20's" and there was also a location in Grand Rapids.

  5. The Roaring 20's in Okemos closed in 1984. The R20's in Grand Rapids changed names to "Good Time Charley's" in 1986, and closed in 1991.

    There are only two successfully surviving restaurants today that feature theatre pipe organ every night. Organ Piper Pizza in Miwaukee, WI and Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa, AZ.