Happy Joe's

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Happy Joe's
Privately held company
FoundedBettendorf, Iowa (1972 (1972))
FounderLawrence Joseph "Happy Joe" Whitty
Number of locations
52 stores (2016)
ProductsItalian-American cuisine
pizza · pasta · desserts

Happy Joe's Pizza & Ice Cream Parlor is an American pizza parlor chain based in Bettendorf, Iowa. The restaurant chain was founded in 1972 by Lawrence Joseph "Happy Joe" Whitty, a former Shakey's Pizza manager. Its 61 restaurants are located in the Midwestern United States ( Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin).[1] The idea for Happy Joe's came from a combination of a pizza parlor and ice cream palace.


Happy Joe's claims to be the first pizza restaurant to offer a taco pizza (a pizza with refried bean/tomato sauce, cheese, lettuce, tomato and taco chips).[2] After a franchisee suggested adding tacos to the menu, Whitty invented the restaurant's best-selling product, the Taco Pizza.[3] In 2005, Happy Joe's started offering breakfast pizzas at select locations.[4] In 2013, Happy Joe's started offering flatbread pizzas.[1] It also features outlandish birthday parties.[5]


The Happy Joe's location on Gilbert Street in Iowa City, Iowa was destroyed by a tornado on April 13, 2006, part of the Easter Week 2006 Tornado Outbreak Sequence.[6] A follow-up restaurant in Coralville was lost to floods in 2008,[7] but it was rebuilt and continued to operate.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b jturner@qconline.com, Jonathan Turner. "Joe Whitty recalls a life filled with happiness". Dispatch-Argus-QCOnline. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  2. ^ "Review: Happy Joe's Pizza keeps it fun with wacky pies". azcentral. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  3. ^ "Made in the Quad Cities". Visit Quad Cities.
  4. ^ "Happy Joe's Pizza revamps with 'Cafez' concept". www.pizzamarketplace.com. 2005-08-21. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  5. ^ "Sum of Your Business: "Happy" Joe Whitty - I Love Inspire(d)". I Love Inspire(d). 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  6. ^ Lemmon, Dustin. "Iowa City still recovering from tornadoes". The Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  7. ^ "Fire destroys Anamosa restaurant". Radio Iowa. 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  8. ^ "Coralville council approves new spot for Asian market | Corridor Business Journal". www.corridorbusiness.com. Retrieved 2017-03-14.

External links[edit]