City’s first pizza place still thriving

Ann Kopecky

Ann Kopecky

When it comes to pizza, there are many well-known names to choose from.

Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Pizza Ranch and Godfathers all stand out as familiar places for dine in, carry out or delivery.

But one not so well known place has made a niche for itself in the community of Brookings.

Pizza King, located at 308 Main Ave., is the pizza place “Brookings grew up on”.

Founded in 1961, Pizza King became the first pizza restaurant in Brookings.

More than 40 years later, the restaurant is still thriving and has become known for its original recipe pizza and hometown atmosphere.

According to owner Shannon Brown, Pizza King makes its own sauce and dough.

“To me, a pizza is all in the sauce and crust,” Brown said, “Anyone can buy the other stuff.”

The original recipe pizza is one reason to try Pizza King. I found myself eating at least 10 square pieces of our pepperoni, sausage, mushroom and green pepper pizza. It had great taste and texture.

The only downfall is that they only have thin crust. For crust lovers, it might be a problem.

Looking at the menu, which goes back to 1978, customers can find pizzas such as the State Special, a pizza for SDSU fans, the Bacon Supreme, the King’s Treat with beef, salami and mushrooms, the Cheeseburger, the House Special with five meats, mushrooms, black and green olives and green peppers, the Grand Meat Combo with beef, salami, pepperoni, Canadian bacon and pork sausage, and the Veggie Combo.

Besides the specials, the menu also offers free refills, daily specials and 18 toppings to choose from, including sauerkraut and tuna.

With an old-fashioned touch, the waitresses and cooks roll out the crust and make the pizzas in the front with the customers watching and waiting.

Customers do not have to wait long at Pizza King as dine-in is a priority. I only had to wait 10 to 15 minutes before being served.

Some of the pizzas go to the tables of people; others are cut and boxed up for delivery.

According to Brown, Pizza King delivers pizza to Skinners every Friday at 6 p.m. and also has other regular delivery customers.

For those who choose to sit in the restaurant, a 50’s style atmosphere surrounds the place.

Pictures of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elvis Presley and the Chevy ’57 line up on the black and white striped walls.

The music wasn’t loud and the atmosphere was just right for good conversation. I knew I couldn’t have chosen a better place to catch up on old times with my friends.

From age 4 to age 80, Pizza King has become a restaurant for all ages.

As I looked around the restaurant, I noticed college students on dates as well as whole families sitting down to eat.

The original recipe pizza has become known through the generations, Brown said.

“People have been around,” Brown said. “Parents ate it and kids eat it.”

4 stars

#1.887358:2945580897.jpg:pizza king.jpg:Dereck Jensen (front) boxes pizzas while Chris Schulte and Diana Jensen (back from left) prepare ingredients at Pizza King in downtown Brookings on Monday night. Pizza King has found its own niche in the crowded pizza market of Brookings.: