Pizza My Heart (restaurant)
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Pizza My Heart is a chain of pizzeria restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. The chain was founded in 1981 in Capitola, California by Fred Poulos and Keith Holtaway and is now owned by Chuck Hammers. The chain currently has eighteen locations. In 1997, the chain merged with Pizza-a-Go-Go, which was based in San Jose, California. The new locations inherited the Pizza My Heart name.
There are restaurants currently in Blossom Hill, Burlingame, Campbell, Capitola, Cupertino, Emeryville, Evergreen, Isla Vista, Los Gatos, Monterey, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, and Willow Glen.
The original theme for Pizza My Heart, established by its founders, Fred Poulos and Keith Holtaway, was that of an urban East Coast pizzeria, a concept relatively rare in California at the time of its creation. The musical tastes were typified by "The Stones". The original image was cast by a series of eclectic street photos taken by Fred and originally published in the Santa Cruz entertainment weekly "Good Times" immediately after the first store opened on May 19, 1981. Shortly thereafter the duo was approached by up and coming cartoonist "Awest" who proposed rendering some of Fred's characters as cartoons and creating what amounted to a running comic strip as an advertising vehicle. The campaign proved hugely successful and led to the founding of the original Santa Cruz store at the old Transit Center in the downtown area. In 1983 "Awest" moved to L.A. to create storyboards for the fledgling MTV network but his cartooning tradition was carried on for Fred and Keith by John Johnson of Capitola. It also carried to the third PMH store on Clement St. in San Francisco and the second Santa Cruz location which was opened in 1988. This theme lost some energy when Fred left the business in 1990 and was completely changed when Keith completely sold out to the current owners several years later.
The theme of the current Pizza My Heart is a retro Hawaii look, emphasizing surfing, girls, and the beach. The walls are usually decorated with framed antique photos from the 1930s to the 1960s, and surfboards as well. At times, the restaurant also plays old surf songs from the 1960s, including hits from the Beach Boys.
The restaurant sells pizza by the slice or entire pies. Some locations offer gluten free crusts or vegan whole pies. They also serve salads, breadsticks, chicken wings, and drinks.