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Shakey's Pizza is a pizza restaurant chain based in the United States. The chain currently has about 400 stores globally, and about 60 in the United States.

A Shakey's restaurant in the Philippines.

Shakey's Pizza was founded in Sacramento, California, on April 30, 1954, by Sherwood "Shakey" Johnson and Ed Plummer. Johnson's nickname resulted from nerve damage following a bout of malaria suffered during World War II. The parlor opened on the first weekend, but since the pizza ovens were not yet completed,[1] only beer was served and Shakey took the profits from beer sales and bought ingredients for pizza the following Monday.

Shakey personally played dixieland jazz piano to entertain patrons. Shakey's initially became known outside Sacramento, not for its pizza, but for the jazz program it sponsored on a regional radio network. Shakey Johnson is honored in the Banjo Hall of Fame in Guthrie, Oklahoma, for his longtime use of banjo music at his pizza parlors. Other live music, including piano, was also a staple in the old Shakey's parlors.

The original store (a remodeled grocery store)[1] at 57th and J Streets in Sacramento remained in business until the mid 1990s.

The second Shakey's Pizza Parlor opened in Portland, Oregon, in 1956. Shakey's opened their third parlor in Albany, Oregon in 1959 which was the first building Shakey's actually owned and the first building to be built in the distinct building style for which Shakey's is known. It now operates as a used bookstore. According to Johnson, Shakey's Pizza engaged in little market research and made most of its decisions on where to locate stores by going where Kinney Shoes opened stores. By the time Johnson sold his interest in 1967, there were 272 Shakey's Pizza Parlors in the United States. The first international store opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1968. By 1975, the company had expanded to the Pacific Rim, including Japan and the Philippines. The chain is now much bigger in the Philippines than in the United States.

Shakey Johnson sold his half of the company for $3 million to Colorado Milling and Elevator in 1967, which acquired Plummer's half for $9 million the next year. Shakey's was again sold to Hunt International Resources in 1974. Two franchisees bought the chain in 1984 and they sold out to Inno-Pacific Holdings of Singapore in 1989. Most of the U. S. stores closed during the time Inno-Pacific owned the chain (two Shakey's restaurants in the Houston, Texas metro area were shuttered). Some of the remaining franchisees took Inno-Pacific to court in 2003. Before this could come to trial, Shakey's was sold to Jacmar Companies of Alhambra, California, in 2004. Jacmar had been the franchisee of 19 Shakey's restaurants.

Shakey's has gone from 500 stores throughout the United States when Hunt International bought the company in 1974 to 63 stores as of 2008, 55 of them in California. There are two stores east of the Mississippi River: Warner Robins, Georgia and Auburn, Alabama. The West Allis, Wisconsin store closed on June 30, 2008.[2][3] Only four Shakey's stores exist in the West outside California: one in both Nogales, Arizona, and Spokane, Washington, one in Seattle, Washington and one in Renton, Washington.



See also

Further reading

  • Wilson, Burt. Shakey & Me. Sacramento, CA: Paloria Press, 2001. ISBN 0-9676-5752-0


External links



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