National Pizza Day is Feb. 9, a time to celebrate the Italian taste treat that’s served as thin-crust, deep dish or anywhere in between.
One things for certain about these six local pizza places: they’ve earned a dedicated following of customers throughout Butler County and beyond during their decades in business.
Chester’s Pizzeria, 2929 Dixie Highway in Hamilton, was founded by Chester and Mary Dadabo back in 1947 in the kitchen of their Lindenwald home, then as a standalone business in 1954.
Mary Dadabo first presented her pizzas for sale, half-baked and frozen, in their Chester’s Market grocery store on Pleasant Ave. That’s the way the pizzeria still does it today.
“Mom and Dad gave us one recipe to follow and we wouldn’t change it for anything,” the business says on its website.
In addition to pizza, the business also serves sandwiches, chicken wings, spaghetti and salads.
Richards Pizza, which sells pizza, steak sandwiches and more, opened in 1955 at 2343 Dixie Highway, but moved in 2011 to 3015 Dixie Highway. A West Side Richards opened at the corner of Main and “D” streets in 1956. The current West Side location at 417 Main Street, Richards’ flagship restaurant, opened in 1970.
Since taking over the business from their father in the late 1980s, co-owners Karen and Gayl Underwood opened three additional locations in Trenton (2004), Fairfield (2006) and Monroe (2009).
The business also serves a World Famous Steak Sandwich, calzones, sandwiches, pastas, spaghetti and salads. To ensure pizza toppings hold their flavor, Richards puts its cheese on top.
Milillo’s Pizza, 1010 Main St. in Hamilton, was founded in 1968 by the late Jack and Ruth Milillo along with Jack’s brothers, Lawrence and John, and sister Ann Milillo Diefenbacher.
The restaurant, which has no seating inside and no delivery, does a steady business off its pizza and other Italian specialties, such as penne, ziti and lasagna, made in both meat and vegetarian versions.
Shaddock’s Pizza and Drive-Thru
Want to order a pizza but not get out of your car? Shaddock’s Pizza at 4713 Central Ave. in Middletown has a drive-thru for food pick-up. That drive-thru also allows for pick up of other store merchandise, including a diverse selection of wine, beer, other alcohol and sodas.
Also listed on the menu at Shaddock’s: spaghetti, lasagna, calzones and hot wings, plus a bevy of side dishes, breads and sandwiches.
SDS Pizza and Subs
SDS Pizza and Subs is located at 7 E. Chestnut St. in Oxford in the heart of Miami University. Founded in 1975, it’s family-owned and operated by the Amarantos family, which is originally from Chicago and has been in the food business for more than 40 years.
The business is run by Andy, Terry and Tommy Amarantos and serves pizza, subs and wings.
Big Dog’s Pizza
Founded in 1997, Big Dog’s Pizza is located at 7967 Cincinnati-Dayton Rd. in West Chester Twp. and owned by Chris Sackrider.
Specialty “West Chester Style Pizzas” include numerous meat and veggie options, including the “Taco Pizza,” “The Hawaiian,” “The Teriyaki Chicken,” “The BBQ Chicken” and “The Bacon Cheeseburger,” which features bacon, hamburger, onions, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, ketchup, mustard and pickles
Big Dog’s also features hoagies, calzones, sandwiches and subs, plus chicken served roasted, not fried. Five beers are on tap, including West Chester’s DogBerry Brewing.