Shakey's cancels plans for Minnesota pizzerias [UPDATED]

Thumbnail image for ShakeysAuburnALopening.jpg
Shakey's cuts Minnesota out of its expansion plans.
Are you sitting down? Do you have your inhaler on hand? Please try not to panic, but Hot Dish is going to have to break some bad news: Shakey's pizza has scrapped its plans to return to Minnesota.

You've lived without its paper mustaches, player pianos, and Styrofoam boater hats for nearly a decade, so you can hold out just a little longer, right?

Earlier this summer, Shakey's was publicizing its plans to open five new restaurants in the Twin Cities metro area. Thousands of rabid Shakey's fans passed the news around on Facebook and shared their favorite Shakey's memories in the comments with a fervor unlike any other seen on the Hot Dish.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Pioneer Press reported that Shakey's was planning to open its first new Minnesota store in Plymouth in April. But after a reader tip, (thanks, David!) the Hot Dish confirmed with Shakey's corporate office that the deal was off: No Shakey's would be coming to Minnesota in the immediate future.

A call to Shakey's vice president of franchise administration, Sonia Barajas-Najera, who was the source of the Pioneer Press's report, was not returned before publication, but Cindy Staats, director of marketing, acknowledged that due to a recent "unforeseen setback" the Minnesota expansion is on hold. Shakey's did have a franchisee lined up, Staats says, but specific sites had not yet been secured.

The good news is, Shakey's management was very disappointed to see its previous plans halted and still sees Minnesota as a target state. "Everyone has been overwhelmingly welcome," Staat says of the Midwest's hunger for Shakey's. The company is now looking for qualified franchisees for the area. Perhaps you could be the savior who resurrects the long-missed pizza chain? 

 

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23 comments
darrellwhiteis
darrellwhiteis

It was the best pizza ever they should come back but only if they use the same recipe and quality as they did in the 60's and 70's. It would be great to have them back,

Jgray61
Jgray61

You know what? You guys SUCK! First you tell us you are coming and then you cancel. You had 1000s upon 1000s of potential customers salivating at the though of tasting the best pizza there ever was. We were excited, now we are pissed.

Mwernimont
Mwernimont

Memory from childhood is that Shakey's was actually pretty good pizza, thin crust and slightly greasy, they way it ought to be, not the doughy dry bread it's become up here in Norwegian land. Actually what's probably scared Shakey's from making investment here is the high number of hospitality closings since government over-regulation has decimated free enterprise. 500 closings and counting, more here:

http://cleanairquality.blogspo...

B...
B...

I worked at the Columbia Heights location in 1976. Shakey's blew it by not offering delivery We also heard rumors that north Star pizza, that owned it, pilfered money and drove it out of business. I miss the pizza even though I smelled like pizza for days after working my shift. Fun sneaking beer after hours during closing and have dough fights, and looking at the "till girls" little short black leather shirts they use to wear...: )..right Lisa and Vicky !!

Common Sense
Common Sense

If you do come to MN ......... make sure you give us what we had ...... that means the same style, same food, same fun and for sure the same look.....  up to and including the old logo signs, indoor interiors and layout of the restaurant. We do NOT want some cheesy, self-important, suburbanite version of a classic here ........... we want what we HAD ..........build it and we will come in droves !!! A business 101 no-brainer !!! Please have a brain !!!

Rmorrissette1068
Rmorrissette1068

At one point, the owner of the TC;s Shakey's decided he didn't want to pay for the corporate image anymore and turned alot of the Shakey's into Paisano's. Other shops closed. Then in 1990 or so, he sold the last shop in Richfield to a couple of guys that used to work for Godfathers and made the place their own until it finally shut down a couple of years later. I used to work for Shakey's/Paisano's in the late 80's. It was a fun place to work and met some great friends.

prufrock
prufrock

Is this story an update from 1965? Because that was the last time I remember anything about Shakey's. Of course, I was living in Chicago then, and learning what good pizza was supposed to be.

Now this Giordano's.... is this any relation to Mr. Vince Giordano? Because I would say yes to bringing them here if it meant we might get him and his excellent band to play here. (I believe his father makes salami, et al in NYC)

Shakey's, to me, really represents Minnesota's unfortunate conception of pizza. Not to be too much of a snob, but to a Chicago guy it's much like a white kid from Roseville passing himself off as a real bluesman.

Steve-o
Steve-o

I say keep Shakey's out. Minnesota (especially the twin cities) needs no more outside franchises or corporate businesses. look what the met council has done to uptown. Its all a discrace LOCALS ONLY

south mpls pizza snob
south mpls pizza snob

If Minnesota is going to get a pizza chain, I sincerely hope its not Shakey's. And please understand, I used to love Shakey's. I had two friggin' birthday parties there as a kid. But the pizza is mediocre at best. Bring us a Giordano's, Lou Malnati's, Uno's etc. I can't believe the tolerance we have for terrible Pizza we have in this state. We should be going Egyptian in front of all the terrible pizza restaurants in this town - and yes I'm talking to you, too, Luce's. Just because half your staff has their necks tatted up - it does not make your pizza any more edible. Its Dominoes for the skinny-pants set... Rant over.

JasonNE
JasonNE

I guess that Shakey's realized that Denny Hecker wasn't going to be investing in those franchises after all...

bruce
bruce

anyone remember shakey's

JanuaryJaguar
JanuaryJaguar

The Shakey's on Tanners Lake in Oakdale was an oh-so-favorite haunt of the mini-me of the late 1960s. They had a LIVE banjo player! So special!

PizzaEter
PizzaEter

It's been much longer than "nearly a decade"; the last Shakey's in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area closed in 1988. (There was still a Shakey's in Rochester until 2002 or 3.) The real question is why did Shakey's drop the ball the first time? At one time there were more Shakey's in Mpls/St. Paul than Domino's. St. Louis Park, Richfield, Minnetonka, New Hope, Falcon Heights, West St. Paul, Stadium Village, Columbia Heights. At its peak there were close to 500 Shakey's in USA and now there are only about 60? What happened?

Jgray61
Jgray61

Absolutely, Common Sense. The original Shakey's Ye Public House Pizza Parlor. With the long wooden tables, silent movies playing on a real projector, the ragtime band, icy mugs and pitchers of cold beer, the window to the kitchen where you could watch them make pizzas from scratch. I grew up with Shakey's. They not only made the best pizza ever, but years later, they introduced the fried chicken and the best mojo potatoes ever. I was so excited to see Shakey's coming to the Twin Cities. Oh well, maybe someday soon. Everyone bitchin' about Shakey's, stay home, don't go there. That's just more for me.

Poetssoul51
Poetssoul51

New York Style pizza is where its at brother

Allanjenn
Allanjenn

You may be right about mediocre pizza at Shakeys but I remember it as better than all the new pizza joints starting up. I guess it would be interesting to try one now to see if it's as good as I remember....maybe part of it was the ambience. 

Iska Waran
Iska Waran

Amen! Luce' is way overrated. Best pizzas in Mpls: (in no particular order): Leaning Tower, Lake Harriet Pizza, Fat Lorenzo's, Jakeenos, Carbones.

Lynne R.
Lynne R.

Agreed, it had it's heyday with live piano player (in BVille at least) and window to watch the pizzas made. It was great before all the other pizza places popped up. 20 years ago that was my fave place to go. But before it sort of fell off the MN restaurant map, it was not all that great, and now we have so many pizza places I would not care if it was back or not (unless they made it like the 80's environment).

Rucebay
Rucebay

you answered your own question. DOMINOS

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