Happy Joe's

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Happy Joe's
privately held company
Industry Restaurant
Founded Bettendorf, Iowa (1972 (1972))
Founder Lawrence Joseph "Happy Joe" Whitty
Headquarters Bettendorf, Iowa, U.S.
Number of locations
52 stores (2016)
Products Italian-American cuisine
pizza · pasta · desserts
Website www.happyjoes.com

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 mostly located in the Midwestern United States (in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin).[1], although the company is also present in Arizona. 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. ^ http://www.visitquadcities.com/news/made-in-the-quad-cities-96
  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. 

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