Westport Pizzeria Parties Like It’s 1968

In October 1968, Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey battled 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.

Joe and Mel Mioli, with a wai tress and customers in the early days.

In October 2018, 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.

It costs quite a bit more than a quarter to buy a slice these days. Westport Pizzeria is no longer an anchor on Main Street.

Westport Pizzera on Main Street. This photo could have been taken in 1968, or 2008.

But it hasn’t gone far — just around the corner, on Post Road East. And the special, basic-but-so-good recipe has never changed.

This Friday (October 12) the pizza place celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special deal: They’ll sell slices for 25 cents. Sodas are even cheaper: 15 cents.

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

But the Mioli family — the founders and still the only owners of Westport Pizzeria — must be doing something right. A restaurant doesn’t last 50 years here on luck alone.

Some don’t even last 50 days.

Some things never change.

20 responses to “Westport Pizzeria Parties Like It’s 1968

  1. Happy 50th birthday Westport Pizzeria!
    Thank you to Joe and Mel Mioli for employing my daughter as a waitress when she was in h.s. Joe and Mel– you have been great bosses/employers to Westport kids for decades, and have made great pizza for five decades!
    I guess I will have to break my diet on Friday and come get a slice, because 25 cents is just too great a deal to pass up for your excellent pizza!

  2. Congratulations Westport Pizzeria. They are the best!

  3. What a great family and they do a lot for the town off westport

  4. Jill Turner Odice

    I wish they could airmail them to us in Maine 🙂 The best Pizza ever! Such memories….This sure makes me feel old!

  5. Michele Coppotelli Solis

    Best pizza Ever! Great memories! 1968 -1973!

  6. Susan Hopkins

    Happy 50th, Westport Pizzeria! Happy memories. Do you FedEx to Colorado?! You’re the best!

  7. Marygenia Fox

    Great comment kristanpeters1
    Just last week, my son (a Sr. at Staples) started his FIRST JOB with Westport Pizza!
    We moved to Westport 15 years ago.
    Since then, WP has been part of countless family events in our home.
    -Pizza parties, sleepovers & just saving my day by bringing dinner to our house.
    Now my son is 17 years old…
    He’s 6’2” tall (!) and raised on Westport Pizza.
    I’m happy & proud that he’s able to become a part of our hometown history before he’s off for college next year.
    THANKS for dinner…and the memories.

    • Marygenia– Hmmm… 6’2″ and he got there raised on Westport Pizza??? Must be the mozzarella!
      I guess I did not feed mine enough Westport Pizza. They never reached that height!! 🙂

  8. congrats on 50 years! been going since i was a kid. does anyone think the crust has become thicker over the years?

  9. In the spring of 1970, we moved to Westport…come early evening we and the moving men got hungry…no food in the house and, oddly, no cash at all.
    No food joint would accept a check from this stranger for a take out order…then I hit Westport Pizza; told a Miloli (forget which one) I was new to town, had no cash but….without so much as a hesitation, I was told “order what you want and come back when you get a chance.”
    Needless to point out, the Miolis have been our pizza providers lo these many years.
    Thanks again, Joe and Mel.

  10. Great story Dan Katz- One that is not surprising of either Joe or Mel. Congratulations to the whole Mioli Family and staff on 50 years of serving and giving to our Westport community. There was nothing like growing up as a kid, and enjoying the .55 cents slice in the mid-late 70’s- then a miny bus ride home!!

  11. Barbara Wiederecht

    Congratulations to our favorite pizza family, longtime friends and neighbors!

  12. Congratulations to Mel & Joe and Family!
    I understand that 50 years ago from this Friday was in fact Columbus Day!

    I made it to 6″2 1/2″ on a diet of Westport Pizza .
    Been eating there since I was a kid.

  13. Michael Calise

    First in every way!

  14. Jack Whittle

    Mel and his lovely wife and long since retired brother Joe well know of my life-long love for their pizza, and their company. And now my kids have been raised on Westport’s finest, and know what it’s like to be greeted warmly by name in a local spot – priceless. Congratulations on your first 50 years; and thanks for being an important part of why I love my hometown!

  15. $1.00 would get me a pack of cigs (from their vending machine) a slice and a small soda with a dime back!

  16. The girl in the 1968 shot looks eerily familiar. Any clue? Happy anniversary to you guys. Xoxo

  17. Becky Purcell

    Mel,Joe,& John..also to all the others that make the Westport Pizzeria a special place. Happy 50th!! Thank you for making me part of that special group back in 1974!

  18. We missed the anniversary celebration a couple of Tuesdays ago, but I have many fond memories of Westport Pizzeria going back a long way, though not quite 50 years; I remember stories of legendary kindnesses and seeing warm welcomes for any and all who came through the door hungry. I officially stopped visiting Westport in 1974, and decided to make my home here. For many years, my office was just up the street — Shields & Partners, in Marty French’s old building with Dickison & Rakaseder Advertising and then two doors north. A short walk, in either location, my German shepherd “Mike” was a happy patient fixture waiting for us outside the door, knowing he’d get a worthwhile treat when we finally emerged. Mel and Joe’s wonderfully welcoming restaurant has been our go-to place for a very long time. And then too, I’m not sure how I would have gotten by expecting twins without those meatball grinders! Congratulations on 50 years — for being an amazing place within our community, no matter how you slice it.