Pizza Deluxe: Pagliai's is a Cape Girardeau favorite

Thursday, November 27, 2008
The "house special" at Pagliai's Pizza & Pasta features sausage, onions and green peppers.

Ask any local what their favorite pizza is and you are bound to get a variety of answers. For many others, though, there is no hesitation and no second guessing: Pagliai's Pizza & Pasta on Broadway.

Owner Ron Bohnert clued SE Live in on some things you might not know about Cape Girardeau's long-loved pizzeria.

"[Pagliai] is a family name in Iowa. In 1968, Sam Pagliai sent one of his nephews down here to open up a store," Bohnert said. "That's how I got familiar with it, because I worked here in high school."

He said he worked at Pagliai's, then left, and came back 20 years later to buy the place.

"I always said I would come back and buy it," he said.

Bob Hotop and Kathy Faulkner enjoy their Saturday night out at Pagliai's Pizza & Pasta in Cape Girardeau.

Under Bohnert's stewardship Pagliai's has satisfied cravings not only in Cape Girardeau but all over the country.

"We ship these pizzas all over the United States all the time," he said. "Yates Racing Team in South Carolina, I ship to them. ... I've shipped them to Kansas, Texas, Utah and Oklahoma."

Bohnert said the pizzas usually go to people who lived here but have moved out of the area. For cross-country shipping, Bohnert said he half-bakes the pies, then freezes them followed by a liberal dose of dry ice. From there, it's off to any ZIP code.

For customers who dine at Pagliai's, the fresh salad bar serves as a self-help starter.

"We have people who come in all the time just for the salad bar," Bohnert said.

But the pizzas are the main act. Bohnert explained what makes them so good.

"One thing is we use a lot better ingredients than what everybody else does," he said. "That's been the key to my success: quality ingredients, quality service and friendliness."

Recently, the 40-year-old Pagliai's went through a renovation which, Bohnert said, has added at about 8 to 10 more seats. The floor of the restaurant is the only remaining element in the dining area.

Pagliai's is open 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday.

Pagliai's Pizza & Pasta

1129 Broadway


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