National Pizza Day 2018: The Quad Cities’ Pizza Pie Past

February 9th is National Pizza Day! 

The first place to serve pizza in the Quad Cities was Tony’s Pizzeria, inside the Paddock Club in Rock Island, Illinois. Oscar Liske took over ownership of the club formerly known as The Horsehoe on April 15, 1952, and Tony Maniscalco began tossing dough in its kitchen soon after that.

The Daily Times, Friday, June 27, 1952, p. 12A

The Daily Times, Saturday, August 9, 1952, p. 4A

The Harrison Grille called itself “Davenport’s 1st Pizzeria” in this newspaper advertisement published in November of 1953. The Grille had been operating since the 1930’s and had recently come under new ownership. 

The Daily Times, Wednesday, November 11, 1953, p. 3G

Later in the 1950’s, the Italian Village opened across the street at 220 Harrison. The restaurant was incorporated on June 10, 1955 by Oscar Liske, manager of the Paddock Club. The building had been previously occupied by Johnny Hartman’s Restaurant. 

The Daily Times, Friday, April 27, 1956, p. 35

Have you any memories of pizza-eating in the QC to share?


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