The original location of longstanding local chain Pagliacci Pizza, on the Ave in the U District (4529 University Way NE), is giving away free slices Thursday, July 26, and then closing for good after almost 40 years. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 26, each customer can get up to two free slices as a way to celebrate Pagliacci’s long run on the Ave.
Pagliacci opened its first store in 1979, introducing fresh dough and ingredients long before waves of high-quality pizzerias washed over Seattle and covered neighborhoods like Capitol Hill with enticing options and dozens of different styles.
The company has become a Seattle institution with its toothsome crust, classic toppings, and seasonal combos: In Eater’s guide to essential pizza restaurants, Pagliacci gets a nod in the intro as “the quintessential local chain, a quick, cheap, satisfying alternative to Domino’s,” even if it’s since been eclipsed in the flavor department by fantastic successors from wood-fired Delancey to deep-dish darling Windy City Pie. Pagliacci also uses all recyclable or compostable packaging and even has a LEED-certified restaurant in Madison Valley, a majorly green achievement.
The shutter of the Ave location is not so much a contraction for the business — which still has 25 other shops, including on the University of Washington campus in the HUB, Lander Hall, and, coming soon, Willow Hall — as it is a refocusing, according to a statement from co-owner Matt Galvin. “Both the Ave and our business have changed. We are focused on growing our locations that offer slices, dine-in seating and delivery,” he says.