May 27, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Inland Empire’s iconic Nickelodeon Pizza has stood the test of time and will always be remembered for its iconic pizza

2 min read

Owner Gary Grossich (center) teaches all of his employees how to make pizza from scratch - even showing them how to rotate pizzas and pop dough bubbles to get a light-airy crust.

Nickelodeon Pizza is a staple in the Inland Empire and continues to thrive with its fan-favorite, the chorizo and avocado pizza. 

Since opening in 1973 as The Roaring ’20s and six pizza parlors later, Colton has been home to the last standing Nickelodeon Pizza. 

Its owner Gary Grossich, the City of Colton Planning Commission vice-chair and a Colton High School alumni, said when he started working at the restaurant, his wage was $1.75 per hour. 

“I was attending SBVC, and the pizza parlor was across the street from the college. When I started, I was making pizzas, but I was loyal and learned my craft, and one of the restaurant’s original owners, the late Bob Goodman, soon became my business partner,” said Grossich. 

When Goodman bought out his co-owner John Hollander from The Roaring ’20s, he wanted to expand, and soon Nickelodeon Pizza was born. 

“When Bob Goodman and John Hollander split up, our corporate name stayed the same, but we needed to change the public name of the pizza parlor. Eventually, Bob and I were approached by a well-known pianist and owner of Colton Piano, Vern Schaffer. He wanted us to open a pizza parlor in Colton’s former Movieland Frontier Town but told us that we needed to change the name from The Roaring ’20s to match its Knott’s Berry Farm aesthetic,” Grossich. 

Grossich said that while visiting Knott’s Berry Farm with Goodman to purchase another storefront redwood sign, the name Nickelodeon Pizza was born. 

“We stepped into this arcade, and I still remember its name – the Buffalo Nickel Arcade. So we looked around at all the games, and there was a Nickelodeon, an 1890s player piano, and we took that name to Schaffer, and Nickelodeon Pizza was born,” Grossich said. 

Since reopening in 2006, the pizza parlor has withstood The Great Recession and the Covid-19 Pandemic, which Grossich credits for its quality products, concise menu, and relationship with the community. 

“As someone who originally had no special skills and had to develop them from the ground up, I learned that a quality product is key. I never wanted to move into the sports bar direction and lose our family-friendly atmosphere; I’m proud to have stayed true to it throughout the years,” said Grossich. 

He also mentioned that since the pizza parlor’s inception, it has collected well over 200 local sports sponsorship plaques. 

“The local sports teams have been the heart of our business. We have plaques on our walls that date back to 1981, and when our guests come back, we often find them looking back at the plaques, reminiscing with their children and even grandchildren,” concluded Grossich. 

Nickelodeon Pizza is located at the Fiesta Village Family Fun Park at 1411 E Washington St, Colton, CA.

To place an order, call (909) 824-9602.


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