Westport Pizzeria: 1968 All Over Again

In October 1968, Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey were battling it out for the presidency. Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave glove-and-fist black power salutes on the medal stand at the Mexico City Olympics. “Hey Jude” sat atop the record charts.

And on October 12, 1968 — its opening day of business — Westport Pizzeria sold a slice for 25 cents.

In October 2013, we all know what happened after Nixon became president. We’ve seen how far our country’s race relations have progressed — and how much further we have to go. “Hey Jude” is still a great song.

2013 -- or 1968?

2013 — or 1968?

It also costs quite a bit more than a quarter to buy a slice. But — in a downtown that has changed so much — Westport Pizzeria still looks just as it did 4 1/2 decades ago.

This Saturday (October 12) the pizza place celebrates its 45th anniversary with a special deal: From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., they’ll sell slices for 25 cents. Sodas are a quarter too. (At the counter only.)

In 1968, Westport Pizzeria was the only game in town. Now there’s competition everywhere, from thick-crust Planet to gourmet Tarry Lodge.

But the Mioli family — the founders and still the only owners of Westport Pizzeria — must be doing something right. A restaurant doesn’t last 45 years here on luck alone.

Some don’t even last 45 days.

19 responses to “Westport Pizzeria: 1968 All Over Again

  1. Wanda Tedesco

    What a great way to celebrate 45 years. Over the years I enjoyed going to Westport Pizzeria with friends. It was also a great lunch stop for me. Now my children and their children still living in town enjoy pizza with the Mioli family. Congrats to 45 and many more.

  2. You know you’re getting old when $1 would get me a pack of cigs (vending machine) a slice, a small coke and a dime back at Mel and Joe’s. They are Westport. Two great guys.

  3. Armelle Daniels

    I love Westport Pizzeria! That’s a great idea…

  4. It’s an institution

  5. I ate so much pizza there when it was 25 cents a slice, it was ridiculous. xoxox Mel and Joe, you know I love you.

  6. Congratulations, Westport Pizzeria! I sometimes stop in late at night after closing up. They are always open, friendly and their pizza is delicious.

  7. Britt E Anderson

    Congratulations to the Mioli family!! I wish I was in the area so I could join the festivities on Saturday. ENJOY everyone.

  8. Britt E Anderson

    I envision the crowd outside the PIzzeria Saturday to be much like the crowd shown in the ribbon above celebrating the Little League team.

  9. Westport Pizzaria is one of the things I miss most about Westport. In all my travels I have not ever found pizza as good as I remember theirs to be. Maybe it is just all the memories of hours spent hanging out there while growing up in the 60s and 70s in Westport, but what I would give for a slice of greasy wonderful pizza ! Can somebody FedEx us a pie? 🙂

  10. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Yes, the Westport Pizzeria is what I miss about Westport. too! Whenever our parents went out of town, my brother and I were given money to buy a large plain cheese pizza (only a plain cheese pizza would suit my picky bro!) and a huge bottle of Coke. The perfect dinner!
    I also miss Art’s. Is it still around?

  11. Joseph Delano

    To me, THE ARROW will always be the nostalgic quintessential Westport pizza spot.

  12. Mark Dickinson

    I lived and traveled around the US quite a bit, and Westport Pizzeria is still the best I have ever eaten! Congrats Mioli family…can you FedEx a slice to Atlanta?

  13. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Since I remember the Westport Pizzeria and Art’s and the Bridge Grill (yikes!), I don’t remember The Arrow (the name, but not the place). I wish Westport had an historic, yet artsy, map of the place. Before maps (60’s, 70’s) and after maps, perhaps. Frameable frames of reference.

  14. I well remember the opening and the 25 cent slices. Frank Mioli was barely out of diapers – Frank hit me with a spit ball and got in big trouble with his mother, Carolyn Mioli. When I look at Mel and Joe, it is hard to believe that 45 years have passed as they look almost the same as they did then. Rita Mioli and a family relation Nina who worked the counter on Saturday’s delivered what is more than likely the first official pizza delivery from Westport Pizzeria. The location? It was to the VFW Hall on Riverside Avenue on August 19, 1972. Rita and Nina were both invited to the wedding but only one was able to take the day off – so they both worked and brought us a great surprise. Rita Mioli Carolini and her late husband, Lino are Godparents to our first born. The Mioli Familia is very near and dear to our hearts. John & Tina, Rina, Alicia, Kerri, Gino, Lina, Anthony, all of you are what makes the Pizzeria THE place to go for a slice! Congratulations. Ciao – from the Costabile’s

  15. And the fall of 1968 was when Dan Woog was first involved with Staples soccer–as a member of the JV team. Westport Pizzeria and Dan Woog, soccer coach: two Westport institutions.

  16. In the 35 years I spent in the Bay Area I could never find a good slice of Pizza. Westport Pizzeria was the benchmark. Now that I am back I make a point of taking my friends who visit from CA to get a slice and sit at the window table. Not only is the Pizza the best, Joe always has a welcoming smile for his customers. A slice of heaven.

  17. I visit Westport every summer. When I do I always drop by the Wesport Pizzeria for a slice. I like to sit in the seats that are against the wall, just like I did in the 1970’s. That place still looks the same as it did then, untouched by time.

  18. I’ve traveled back to Westport only once since leaving in 1978. First stop; Westport Pizzaria. Thank you Mioli family for great memories and maintaining your small town charm.

  19. I have so many fond memories of the pizza place I called home when I was in Staples high school. So glad that they are still there after so many years.