Tag Archives: Pappy’s

Pappy’s Family Pub

It’s been a couple of years since I first posted about Pappy’s Family Pub, and with a few new discoveries since then, I think an update is warranted.

Pappy’s opened in 1976 in what is currently the Wells Fargo Bank on Route 1, directly across from Laurel Shopping Center.



Shortly after the restaurant opened, the Laurel News Leader ran a feature on it, which included a couple of interior photos—including that memorable glass window where you could watch the pizza magic being made.

(Laurel News Leader, 1/15/76)

(Laurel News Leader, 1/15/76)

(Laurel News Leader, 1/15/76)

(Laurel News Leader, 1/15/76)

The full article appears below (click for full size).


Local yearbooks included a few ads and photos, as well:


(1976 Laurel High School Rambler; Laurel Historical Society archives)

(1976 Laurel High School Rambler; Laurel Historical Society archives)

While these pictures provide a rare and nostalgic interior view of the actual Laurel location, they still don’t completely do justice to the full Pappy’s experience—a sensory overload of delicious pizza aromas and colorful, old-timey fun.

What most people tend to recall at the first mention of Pappy’s are those styrofoam hats—which were worn by staff members and available for kids. After years of searching for one, I’ve finally tracked down a pair of the original hats! One of them will soon be at the Laurel Museum, as part of the ever-expanding Lost & Found Laurel exhibit. Hmm… They’re a bit smaller than I remember.



I’ve also found one I didn’t realize ever existed—a cheaper, flat paper alternative. Apparently, these became the more cost-effective giveaways, while the employees continued to wear the real thing.


And speaking of employees, Francesfoxvintage, a seller on etsy.com, actually has an original Pappy’s waitress uniform for sale—the likes of which probably hasn’t been seen since the 1970s ended. It provides an even better sense of the vivid red and black color palette that permeated Pappy’s.

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Pappy’s didn’t only serve pizza, of course; and now we’ve got the hot dog containers to prove it.


A pair of matchbooks from Laurel’s Pappy’s, courtesy of Kevin Leonard:

Pappy's matchbooks from Kevin Leonard

Last, but not least, the crown jewel of plastic toy rings. Behold!


As convenient as delivery has become with the likes of Domino’s, et al, there will always be something about a genuine old pizza restaurant experience that just can’t be topped. No pun intended.



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Laurel’s Pizzas Past: Pappy’s

I have to say, really good pizza was abundant in Laurel throughout the 1970s and 80s. Delaney’s/Irish Pub, Pal Jack’s, Village Inn… even Pizza Movers wasn’t bad. (And hey, they delivered!) We’ll explore each of them in time, but let’s start with one of the earliest departures—a place that countless kids who grew up in Laurel retained countless memories of birthday parties, balloons, styrofoam party hats, and yes… really good pizza. This was Pappy’s—alternately known as Pappy’s Family Pub.

Pappy’s was located directly across from the Laurel Shopping Center, in the building currently occupied as of this writing by a Wells Fargo bank. (Yawn).

As many have fondly recollected, an additional treat at Pappy’s was the fact that one actually had a very good view of whatever happened to be playing on the big screen at Wineland’s Drive-In theatre, which was situated literally just behind the restaurant. For a kid, particularly, getting a free peek at an outdoor movie playing on a massive screen from the cozy confines of a pizza parlor only added to the mystique.

And there were some unique features within those cozy confines, as you might recall. Some of our Facebook friends have pointed out their favorite memories—including the player piano, the unique kitchen window that allowed customers to watch the pizza-making magic, the balloons with “feet”, allowing them to stand on the tabletops, funhouse-style “fat and skinny” mirrors, and those styrofoam Pappy’s hats.

Believe it or not, there is a Pappy’s still in business in Johnstown, PA. And from what I can tell, it’s got quite a bit of that familiar charm that Laurel’s Pappy’s once had. Minus the drive-in movie screen, of course. But they do have the player piano, the pizza-viewing window, the funhouse mirrors, and some of that familiar signage:

Photo: Josh L. (Yelp.com) 

Photo: Josh L. (Yelp.com)

Photo: Josh L. (Yelp.com)

I’ve come across a few other Pappy’s artifacts from the Laurel location, including coupons and newspaper ads:

And while perusing another popular Laurel nostalgia Facebook group, I came across the following unique Pappy’s photos:

Photo: Bradley Frederick Holmes, via facebook.com/groups/147258845411/photos/

Pappy’s staffmembers (Photo: Bradley Frederick Holmes, via facebook.com/groups/147258845411/photos/)

Another great shot of Pappy’s staffmembers (Photo: Bradley Frederick Holmes, via facebook.com/groups/147258845411/photos/)

An original birthday mask from the Laurel Pappy’s! (Photo: Bruce Brandon, via facebook.com/groups/147258845411/photos/)

Pappy’s was indeed a fun and happy experience for nearly everyone who had the chance to enjoy it. It also benefited from a strategic location, being directly across from the Laurel Shopping Center exit. That’s my perception, at least—as I know from experience that I’d vehemently crave pizza as soon as my parents would reach that traffic signal. It’s probably safe to assume that the current Wells Fargo doesn’t possess that same enticing Pappy’s charm and mystique. But then again, could anything?

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