Angie’s Pizza reopens as Angie’s Tavern

by Cathi Conti Sinsabaugh

A cherished 70-year-old establishment in Independence, Angie’s Pizza, at 6932 Hillside Rd., reopened on Feb. 12 under new management and a new name – Angie’s Tavern.

The Konicki family started the Angie’s Pizza chain in 1953, and now new owners George and Pam Glus are continuing the tradition.

“We’re having a lot of fun with this,” George said. “We just want to do this as good as we can. This community deserves it.”

The Gluses purchased the property in mid-November and immediately set to work with some minor renovations. “We heard this property was available and we jumped on it,” George said. “It happened quickly. But we’ve had restaurants before and we immediately saw this as a very special place.”

The community gave them a warm, positive reception. “As we were painting and fixing the place up, people kept peering into the windows to see what we were doing,” George laughed. “Because they were so invested in seeing what was going on. That’s when we realized – this isn’t ours. This truly belongs to this community. All we kept hearing from the community is, ‘Will it be the same?’ And we respect that.”

In keeping with the much-loved Angie’s Pizza tradition, Angie’s Tavern kept the same menu and ambiance. “This is the same neighborhood pizza place that the community knows and loves,” George said. “To this community, this is their place: a gathering place for families; sports teams after games on a Friday or Saturday night. This location belongs to everyone. So little has to do with us. This place almost has a mythical quality to it.”

Angie’s Tavern kept the original floor plan, but the Gluses added a bar by converting the old waitress station. They also purchased new pizza ovens and added two new wide-screen TVs. “But the community was glad we kept the original fireplace,” George said. “There are so many happy memories here for this neighborhood. We keep hearing that from everyone who stops in.”

There might be some new menu items in the future, but not anytime soon. “We want to settle in first, before we add anything else,” Pam said.

Both George and Pam are Cleveland natives and raised their family in Brooklyn Heights before moving to Independence three years ago. “Angie’s has always been such a central hub for Independence,” George said. “People keep stopping by and saying that this is a community place, a central location, a community corner piece.”

Since Angie’s Tavern opened, George has been experimenting with his pizza sauces and crust to create perfection. “I take this very seriously, and I am very open to whatever our customers tell me,” George explained.

When former Angie’s Pizza owner Tom Konicki’s mother, original founder of Angie’s Pizza, stopped by to check the place out, she gave Angie’s Tavern her approval.

“We even learned that Angie’s Pizza got its name originally because the Konicki family wanted their restaurant to begin with an A, easy for people to find in the phone book,” George said.

Angie’s Tavern seats 49 and does a brisk carryout business. ∞

Photo: Owners George and Pam Glus renovated the interior of Angie’s, but kept the original fireplace in the middle of the restaurant. Photo by Cathi Conti Sinsabaugh.