Defrocked (Went Independent) Shakey's Pizza Parlors Still Operating
At one time, Shakey's Pizza parlors had more locations than Pizza Hut did at the same point in time, eventually topping out at about 500. Today, there are about 61 locations in the USA. For a long time, the chain was run by The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. So, a lot of franchisees sold their land and building for capital gains or took out another franchise in the same building. But a few went independent. They changed the name of the place. They stopped using trademarked names such as "Bunch of Lunch" of "Mojo Potatoes". Out went the corrougated pizza boxes with Shakey's name on them; in came cheap cardboard. While some made major changes, a number of former franchisees or people who worked for the former franchisee kept the concept going. They managed to keep the existing menu and the food tasted about the same. I think a lot of them could not afford to remodel the stores, so they unintentionally preserved the architecture and furnishings of a bygone era for a new generation. The chief characteristic: Formica with the top layer worn away.
Shakey's today (especially the stores owned by the Jacmar Companies) put out a pizza that is still appreciated by people who grew up on it and had their local stores close up on them. An incredible number of people have fond memories of this chain, especially if it was where they first had pizza. While anyone can go to Southern California for the "real thing", I'm interested in compiling a list of stores that went independent and more or less retained the format, so people around the country can stop in at one closer to home.
In the 70's and 80's I ate at Shakeys' in the Washington, DC area and in Delaware. All are now gone. There is one that retains the format and still has excellent fried chicken and Mojo potatoes, though the pizza has deviated from the original formulas but retaining the thin crust. It is McGills in Annandale, VA: http://www.magillsdc.com/
While I have not been to Bonnie & Clyde's in Louisville, it is another defrocked Shakey's: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=190095345444
Look at the well-worn Formica: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1178313632427&set=o.190095345444
Even their menu looks like Delaware menus from the 80's: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=610297567103&set=o.190095345444#!/photo.php?fbid=610297207823&set=o.190095345444&pid=35348371&id=48200460
This is another example of a defrocked Shakey's.
While the food may not be the best in the world, a lot of people may enjoy taking a step back in time.