Remembering Shakey’s Pizza Parlor

by Patrick Herron
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Remembering Shakey’s Pizza Parlor

Shakey’s Pizza Parlor had multiple locations in MoCo back in the 70’s and 80’s, including in Gaithersburg on Beauru Dr. and in Rockville on 355.

Shakey’s was founded in 1954 by Sherwood “Shakey” Johnson and Ed Plummer in Sacramento, CA. According to wikipedia, Johnson’s nickname resulted from nerve damage following a bout of malaria during World War II.  As the first franchise pizza chain in the United States, the company expanded to as many as 500 stores worldwide at the height of it’s popularity.

Photo courtesy of Steve Michaels.

Shakey’s was popular with both children and adults. Parents could drink pitchers of beer while the kids played Pac-Man or watched the chef’s prepare the pizza through their open kitchen.

After multiple ownership changes in the 80’s, most of the U.S. locations were closed by the 1990’s. Currently you can only find Shakey’s in California (47 locations) and Washington (2 locations).

Here’s a look at some current day menu items from the chain:



We did a Facebook post about Shakey’s back in 2015, here were some of the best replies:

Who’s up for a road trip to the West Coast?

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