In the beginning of the 20th Century with the success of World's Fairs and Expositions, the development of amusement parks began, while simultaneously pizza was being introduced in America. The two would come together over the course of the 1900's as they both gained popularity and spread coast to coast.
|After the 1974
opening season, Great Adventure expanded with more rides and attractions,
but more importantly more food outlets. The first season saw long lines
for the restaurants and it was quickly apparent that more places to
serve food were needed.
For the sophomore season in 1975, several new eateries were opened around the park and one of the biggest was the Pizza Parlor which was located next to the Fountain. The restaurant was built on part of the area that was originally slated for a fourth "major" restaurant like Yum Yum Palace, Gingerbread Fancy, and Best of the West. This restaurant was shown on renderings of the park prior to and during construction, but never made it off the drawing boards.
|Originally the stand
opened as the Seafood Stand, and then became the Fountain Fishery. The
emphasis on Seafood went away in 1978 becoming the Snack Stand with
seafood later moving to the Junction Inn. For the 1979 season the stand became
Liberty Hot Dogs which paired nicely with Great American Hamburger on
the opposite side of the pathway.
In 1980, the menu changed again, this time becoming the Pizza Parlor. For more than 40 years now the stand has continued to serve pizza with a variety of name changes along with thematic changes in the park, and more recently with company created brand sponsorships and partnerships.
|In the 1990's, Time Warner took
ownership of the Six Flags parks, and invested heavily
to improve the
park as well as to promote the Time Warner family of brands. As part of
the upgrades to the themed sections, many of the more generic structures
were slated for improvements to enhance the themes.
Great Adventure's entrance area became a colonial themed Main Street, and new buildings were added and existing ones improved. Part of the plans for improving Main Street included structures on the far side of the Fountain, including the Pizza Parlor. A colonial style second story facade was proposed for the building, but was never built.
|With the rebranding
of the stand to Liberty Square Pizza, the building was given several
cosmetic improvements to enhance its theme and make it better fit into the newly
created colonial style Main Street section of the park.
The stand was one of the original locations in the park that served beer, with a large roll down steel door that could be rolled up to reveal a bar with beer taps. The restaurant also had a walled patio area where guests consuming beer had to remain while drinking since alcohol could not be carried around the park.
Eventually a small bar was added in front of the stand, and the patio area was given a wooden covering.
|In the 2000's with changes in ownership and management, Six Flags looked to bring in name brand food to the parks with the theory people would buy more food if it was a brand they were familiar with instead of just a generic pizza. Papa John's became a partner of Six Flags and was contracted to run several locations in the park. This partnership lasted for five seasons.|
|For the 2011 season, Primo's Pizza took over the Six Flags Parks pizza concessions. The new operator brought in the Famous Famiglia brand. Little changed in the menu other than the name on the restaurant.|
|With the central
location in the park adjacent to the Fountain, has meant that the
restaurant usually remains busy and popular. The patio area offers a shady
place to sit and eat and the adjoining Pub offers adult guests the
option of beer and other alcoholic beverages to accompany their lunch or
Whether serving whole family size pizzas, individual pies, or by the slice, the Pizza Parlor has kept the park's guests fed over the decades. While many of the earliest food stands have been remodeled into much more elaborate and expanded outlets, the Pizza Parlor has seen little change as a physical structure and in its menu offerings.
|Original Spotlight: February 20, 2023. GAH Reference#: FOOD-1975-003|