Windy City Pizza has its origin in 1977 when owner Jim Doppelhammer worked for his good friend Dean Guidi as weekend manager at Tony's Pizzeria in Bellwood, IL. When Dean sold Tony's in late 1980, he gave Jim permission to use his authentic Italian family recipes: pizza, pasta, ribs, and everything else that was on their menu.
A few months later, in early 1981, after much pounding of nails, painting, and construction, Jim opened Pioneer Pizza in Bloomingdale, IL, a far-west suburb of Chicago. It was successful and had a large following. Jim sold Pioneer Pizza in late 1986 and moved out of state, taking a new job and pursuing other opportunities that had developed.
The first Windy City Pizza was opened in Conway, AR by Jim and his wife Ava in April 1994. Ava designed the logo, and gave a hand drawn "concept sketch" to a local cartoon artist in Conway, who turned Ava's sketch into what you see above!
The restaurant in Conway had a large dining room and could seat up to 70 customers. Windy City Pizza was open for nearly three years when they sold it to a new owner who changed the name.
Jim managed to find two original Pioneer Pizza menus in his scrapbook, we think you will find them interesting…
Jim also managed to find a Windy City Pizza menu from 1996... Looky looky at what all was on our menu back then!
Now Jim and Ava have decided to bring real Chicago style pizza to Charleston, Ava's hometown.