Pizza Prince

The best pizza I ever had in my life was at an unassuming little stand on La Cienega Boulevard, about five blocks south of Pico. In the late sixties/early seventies, Pizza Prince served an incredible pie. I worked for a while in that area and lunched on Pizza Prince pizza at least twice a week. And then I introduced the girl I was dating to their cuisine and suddenly, she didn’t want to eat anywhere else…which was jes’ fine with me. My friends and I were all heartbroken one day around 1973 when the building suddenly turned into something else run by someone else. (It went through a couple of identities and is now a taco stand.)

Then one day a few years later, I was leaving an appointment out in Burbank and turned onto an unfamiliar street only to find a familiar logo — Pizza Prince! Same lettering style and everything. What’s more, when I went inside the same guy who’d run the La Cienega stand was there kneading dough and he even recognized me. As he heated me some slices, he explained his old landlord had doubled the rent so he relocated, even taking along the same oven and most of the same kitchen gear. Sure enough…same wonderful pizza. I made a mental note to return there often and two weeks later, dragged a bunch of friends towards its doors, promising them pizza so fine it would spoil them for life. You probably see this coming but I didn’t: The place was closed. Out of business, apparently. As far as I know, it never reopened.

19 Responses to Pizza Prince

  • Chester j. Lamb says:

    I was a personal friends of the owners of pizza prince in burbank circa 1974 one is bob cormier and the other bob ballenger both from main and we all lived in reseda at the time sadly i have lost track of them but always think of them fondly i remember bob cormier as the most wonderful chef, and my mouth water at the thought of their delicious pizza prince pizza.

  • Christian says:

    I just happen to be watching The Greatest American Hero, episode 7 of season 1 (Fire Man) and can see a Pizza Prince in the background at the corner of a building. There is a store two doors down on the right “Studio Graphics.” Location unknown….

  • Sleestak says:

    Re: Wayne
    Nipponese? C’mon man. Uncool.

  • Cathy & Gary Elmore says:

    My husband and I…then boyfriend and girlfriend just about lived at the Pizza Prince location on Alameda in Burbank, now 54 years later we still think about Pizza Princes SPECTACULAR pizza!!!! We moved from California in 1978 but I just looked them up…yes, just talking about the Pizza and here you are, great memories!!! Best Pizza anywhere anytime…ever!!!!

  • Brian Donald says:

    I worked in the Pizza Prince location in Norwalk, between 1974-1975. Joe, the old owner, was so secretive with the dough recipe, he would make the dough in Burbank, drive down in his Chevy station wagon and bring us frozen dough from the Burbank location to Norwalk that we would thaw out. Joes recipe for the dough included a little oil in the dough preparation. Friday’s and Saturday nights really rocked at that location. We were busy all the time. We always used to give cops free food and drink when we work there. Many memories from that place.

  • LA_Curbed101 says:

    Check out CHiPs Season 3, episode titled: Neighborhood Watch. Pizza Prince is seen in background about 3/4 of the way in the episode as Ponch and John approach the North Hollywood Alpha Beta.

  • Cass says:

    I used to go to a Pizza Prince in Norwalk, Calif., and as someone said- It was the best Pizza I’ve ever had. Was this the same company?

  • Pam Aulwes Metcalf says:

    We used to go for a slice of pizza at lunch time to the Norwalk location from Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe springs. He did toss the pizza. I seem to remember it was $.50 cents for a slice with a coke. I am trying to find a picture of it along with a pic from Johns Burgers across the street where you could get a Johns Special which included a double burger, a huge bag of fries (big ones) and a lg coke for $.49 cents. A friend of mine, Tom used to order two at a time. He had a big appetite! If there is anyone out there with a pic of either of them it would be fun to see them again.

  • DC says:

    Yes, I worked with Bob lingual. Sorry for the late reply. Everybody knew Bob as Lee McAtee at that time. Lee, (Bob’s assumed name), was a great workmate to have for a young man like me. He was the guy defending me with the pizza paddle against the drunk electrician. Bob was around 24 or 25 at that time. He claimed to be a champion wrestler and 1/2 mile runner when he was in high school. I was a decent high school distance runner myself at that time, and Lee, (Bob), nearly beat me on a 1/2 mile course we made on Alameda Ave. and the parking lot. Cigarette smoking and all. He later beat me in a wrestling match after hours in the dining room at the Prince. Some of the best times I had working there was because of Bob. He was like having a cool older brother. Sort of a wayward roll model. He was a ladies man. Lee loved the ladies and they loved him even more. (I hope that doesn’t upset your view of him). Unfortunately I believe Bob passed away in the mid 90’s. I wish I had kept in touch. I found his name on the Riverside National Cemetery website. The Bob Longuil they had was the right age and a Vietnam vet as I knew him to be. It bought a tear to my eye. When my brother and I went to put flowers on our older brothers grave, (also named Bob), I placed flowers on Bob’s, (Lee) gravesite as well. He probably would have laughed at me for that, but he was great guy to remember.

  • Sally Maifield says:

    Repl to DC: I understand that Bob Cormier passed away from Cancer.
    If you work there at that time he was the owner, then you also worked with Bob

  • DC says:

    My family bought pizza at the Alameda Ave. location when the old guy named Joe owned Pizza Prince. He retired and sold the business to Bob Cormier around 1974. Thats when I worked there, when I was in high school, 1974 – 1976. It was good times in that place. We used to toss and spin the dough in front of the front picture window for the people waiting for pick-up. I traded pizza for admission to the Pickwick Drive-in theater next door. One time two couples came in from a bowling league and one of the ladies modeled the silk bowling shirt she made for her team. Her drunk husband thought I, (17 yrs old at the time), was hitting on her and starting chocking me with the collar of my white shirt while my co-working beat him in the head with the pizza paddle. Good times. Bob owned Burbank and Norwalk at that time. He later expanded to Van Nuys and maybe Canoga Park. He later sold all the other stores and moved the Burbank location to Verdugo Rd. in the 80’s. I lost touch with him after that.

  • Shari says:

    I worked at Pizza Prince on La Cienega all through Jr. High and High School. Tony was like a father to me. He made all the pizzas while I cooked the burgers, hot dogs and subs. Also made shakes, malts and did a lovely soft serve cone. I was very sad when he closed the doors. People mistakingly are showing the closing in the mid 70’s, when in fact it was 1979 or 1980 when Tony actually closed. We used to wear red and white striped shirts as a uniform and one day Tony bought us all t-shirts with our zodiac signs on them to wear instead. His pizza is still the epitome to which I compare pizza today. I now live in Texas and the only pizza that comes close to it is Brother’s Pizza on Mills Road in Houston. To this day, I still make submarine sammies the same way I made them at Pizza Prince; Mortadella, hard salami and provolone cheese toasted in the oven then add lettuce, tomato and Italian dressing. By the way, I still have my Pizza Prince name badge in my memory box.

  • Mitch Levine says:

    I would agree with those who thought the pizza was one of the best pies made in So. Cal. They also gave you a pretty decent slice for 50 cents. There used to be a really good pizza store on Santa Monica Blvd. near Gardner. I recall that you had to open a screen door to get in.

  • Mike says:

    My family lived on Cadillac Av, and later on Guthrie, just off of La Cienega in the 60’s, and then moved over to Beverlywood in 1969, and even though I was too young to really experience their pizza, my dad still claims to this day, that Pizza Prince’s pizza was he best he’s ever had since moving out to California from Boston in 1959. He was really sad when the La Cienega location closed in the mid 70’s.

  • The ChocolateDoctor says:

    Pizza Prince was my first restaurant job while I was a freshman in high school. I was hired to work for 2 hours every afternoon making the pizza sauce. The canned tomato sauce was up a steep library-style ladder and I remember it was very dicey coming down the steps. The first day I worked there I started to wash up before mixing the sauce with my hands when the owner told me to “stop” that sweat was his secret ingredient to the sauce. Don’t worry, he was only kidding. The back-of-the-house was always clean the cooks always washed their hands and that was the secret for a Pizza Prince great pizza. Pizza Prince was great training for me as I later opened and owned over 300 restaurants.

  • Wayne says:

    I too remember Pizza Prince in Norwalk California next door to Luckys market. I was also a kid in the 70s and we always got our pizza from there. It was the best! But then, the Nipponese took it over in the early 80s and everything went to hell fast! The dough tasted like old leftover stagnant cooking oil and rice noodles. It was terrible! Then the original owners I think bought it back, but then folded not long afterwards.

  • Mike Phillips says:

    they also had restaurants in North Hollywood, Van Nuys and Atwater.

  • Beth says:

    Didn’t he have another location in Norwalk? When I was a kid in the 70’s my mom dated a guy who owned a couple pizza places called Pizza Prince. One in Norwalk and I believe one in Burbank. My friends and I used to fold the pizza boxes for him for fun.

  • Marc Z. says:

    They did relocate one more time to 1720 W. Verdugo Ave. also in Burbank. If I remember, they were there for only about two more years. The Prince had the best pizza outside of NY. We were heartbroken (and still are) that they eventually closed. They had been around since 1962.

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