His name was John Spallaci, and he moved to Minneapolis from Italy, bringing his special family pizza recipe with him. In 1953, he opened Spallaci’s Pizza (pictured left) in North Minneapolis, and in 1961, sold the business and recipe to Eddie and Mamie Peck. Cranking out quality pies was a high priority for the new owners, so they ground their own sausage and mixed their own sauce in house, as well as making fresh dough daily. Those processes won them a lot of loyal customers, so when the new Interstate 94 came plowing through the neighborhood in the early 70s, Eddie and Mamie stayed on the north side of the city and set up their new operation overlooking the Mississippi, in the heart of the old railroad yards, and the customers followed in droves.
In an homage to the history of the neighborhood, the Peck’s new restaurant took on a railroad theme, including seating in box cars.
In the early 70s, the first time I lived in the Twin Cities, the original location of Broadway was one of my ‘go-to’ places. Today they have more than a dozen locations, are opening more corporate stores and franchising.
In addition to pizza, they have wings, sandwiches and plate dinners, and they still make the sausage, sauce and dough in house. Our Minnesota reporter Kawika stopped in the Champlain, Minnesota location, for a sausage/pepperoni, half olive/half mushroom recently, and said it was (to his delight) one of the thinnest cracker crusts he’d ever encountered, and Minnesota is bereft with thin crust choices.
He took a feigned exception to the advertised special of an Hawaiian pizza, having lived in the 50th state for years; apparently to the authentically inclined, the ‘real’ Hawaiian has to have peanut butter as one of the toppings, and certainly not “jalapeno bacon.” No damage done, hower.
The bar portion of the restaurant was hopping at 11 P on a Saturday nite, and most locations serve food til late.
Broadway Pizza Review