Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Greg Peck: Remembering Janesville's Pizza Villa

Share on Facebook Comments Comments Print Print
Greg Peck
March 11, 2015

In my continuing series on former restaurants in Janesville, today's blog brings you news of Pizza Villa. A photo and caption in The Gazette's clip files states the pizza parlor, formerly at 117 W. Milwaukee St., opened in February 1970 at 119 W. Court St.

Gene Marshall, manager, stated the new restaurant seated 84 people and featured an instant atmosphere lighting system. Overhead interior lights were controlled to present the desired atmosphere, depending on the type of group present. Lantern coach lights highlighted the exterior design.

Two weeks later, a full-page ad in The Gazette touted the eatery's grand opening at the corner of Court and Franklin streets. Best wishes and sincere congratulations came from Janesville companies that helped build the place, including general contractor Roth & Holdorf, R.G.M. Wholesale, Marling Lumber, Douglas Electric, Electrical Displays, L.C. Lenz & Son Plumbing Contractors, Roger L. Carlson Excavating and Lions Heating, Cooling & Ventilating.

Our clip file contained no word of how long the pizza place stayed in business. I also couldn't find that detail in our computer archives.

I did, however, find in the latter an obituary for Eugene “Gene” Marshall, who died of cancer in 2001 at age 67. It said he moved to Janesville in 1962 and introduced pizza delivery service to the city after opening the Pizza Villa on Milwaukee Street. The obituary mentioned his later restaurant move to the Court Street spot. It also said that after 25 years of making pizza, Marshall worked as a custodian at Janesville's Edison and Franklin middle schools and Jefferson Elementary before retiring due to cancer.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or [email protected]. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Share on Facebook Comments Comments Print Print