Organ Grinder Pizza - Portland Pizza Memories!


The Organ Grinder Pizza in Portland brings back very fond memories. Unique places tend to do that to me, especially from my childhood. This place was a one-of-a-kind.

The Organ Grinder, which was located on SE 82nd in Portland, opened it's doors to the public in 1973 and was a huge hit with families around the area.

It's building alone was very modern-looking for the time period it stood out from other businesses along the street. If you had never been there, you would see just the outside and think, "what in the world is that?"

Not your run-of-the-mill pizza parlor, it generated a fun atmosphere. A large Wurlitzer organ with pipes jetting up to the ceiling sat in the center front of the the dining room.

It's been a long time, so pardon my memory, but I believe that the seating was staggered on a couple different levels for ultimate viewing of the surroundings. But, what was there really to see except other patrons around you, stuffing their faces with pizza? Silent movies, if you must know! ;)

organ grinder portland oregon

These classic old picture shows would play during your meal and the man at the Wurlitzer organ would accompany. It was the coolest in entertainment!

I would visit the Organ Grinder with my friends for pizza, video games and, of course, silent movies every month or so.

The pizza wasn't bad (not the best I've had), but it wasn't about the food. It was about the movies, the music and the fun. The food quality was an after-thought and pretty much a moot point.

In February of 1996, the Organ Grinder closed it's doors for good and the Wurlitzer was sold off. The end of a very special era.

At least I still have my memories of the famous Organ Grinder in Portland, Oregon. Good stuff. ;)


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The Organ Grinder brings back fond memories for a lot of us. Have a story or a memory to share?

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Your Organ Grinder Memories

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The Costumed Characters - Organ Grinder Pizza 
When I was very young(4 or so), I was scared to death of the costumed characters that walked around the Organ Grinder Pizza restaurant. One summer my …

Organ Grinder Pizza. 18 Years Later And Closed?? 
We used to visit relatives for years in the Portland , OR. area when we were kids in the late 70's. Organ Grinder Pizza was absolutely magical to …

My Dad Played At Organ Grinder Pizza 
I'm 30 now and I started to go to the Organ Grinder in Portland at 3 months old. My dad, Dale Haskin, loved that place and had his own pipe organ at our …

Yes! Organ Grinder Pizza in Portland! 
We lived in Portland, OR from 1977 -1980. One treat was going to eat pizza and onion rings at the Organ Grinder! The silent movies were awesome and …

I Think About Organ Grinder Pizza All The Time 
My husband and I met in 1974 and we loved the Organ Grinder in Portland. We didn't live far from there, and you know what? We didn't go there all that …

Did The Organ Grinder Have A Real Live Monkey? 
I distinctly remember an organ grinder coming to my grade school in Rainier with an organ and a monkey. It would've been sometime between 1973 and 1976. …

WANTED: Organ Grinder Monkey 
My sister loved the toy monkey you could get through the Organ Grinder Pizza in Portland. We lost it throughout the years. She will be 40 this year …

Wind-Up Monkey at Organ Grinder Pizza 
I went to the Organ Grinder probably 1977, when I lived in Kennewick. The organist had this little wind-up cymbal banging monkey. He wound the thing up …

I Remember Organ Grinder Pizza 
I loved your short story of the Organ Grinder. It really took me back. I grew up in SE Portland and the Organ Grinder was a great place. We would go …

The Organ Grinder & The Long Lost Cousin 
Just today, I got a text from a long lost cousin. We'd lost touch since 1995. I managed to search him, and found a current address as he'd bought a house …

Not Quite Organ Grinder Pizza, But As Close As It Gets 
For anyone wondering, Dennis Hedberg, owner of the Organ Grinder, collected rare sounds and sets of pipes for the Organ Grinder organ, which eventually …

The Organ Grinder - My Favorite Pizza Restaurant Not rated yet
In the late 1950's and very early 60's, my family and I lived 5 blocks from the Organ Grinder restaurant. We went there quite frequently to eat and enjoy …

Coming To Portland From Denmark. Organ Grinder Closed. Not rated yet
When in 1991 I visit the Organ Grinder with the tempel band from Copenhagen. I live in Copenhagen Denmark. I loved the place. In 93, 95 and 97, …

Organ Grinder Pizza: Best Place To Go As A Family In Late 80's.  Not rated yet
The atmosphere of the organ playing while eating pizza with family at the Organ Grinder was awesome. It was a treat to visit every week. I miss this place. …

Memories of The Organ Grinder Not rated yet
I remember Organ Grinder Pizza in Portland quite well. My family used to make regular trips to this fantastic place. My siblings were into …

Remember The Monkey At The Organ Grinder? Not rated yet
The Portland Organ Grinder was one of my favorite places as a kid. I loved the it! Great memories of the music and the cute monkey, all dressed up. …

Organ Grinder Pizza Bubble Machines Not rated yet
I'm 34 years old and my sister and I would get to go to Organ Grinder Pizza in Portland once or twice a year. I loved how the bubble machines were always …

Organ Grinder Pizza Record Albums Not rated yet
My father reminded me that they used to sell record albums at the Portland Organ Grinder Pizza. These were albums recorded at the restaurant, of different …

Organ Grinder Pizza Coupons! Not rated yet
Our family didn't have a ton of money when we were growing up, but every once in awhile Mom found an Organ Grinder Pizza coupon and we …

Organ Grinder Pizza Was A Family Fave! Not rated yet
I remember going to Organ Grinder Pizza as a kid with my brother and parents. We didn't live in Portland...we lived in Newberg and, every month or so, …

Great Organ Grinder Memories! Not rated yet
I remember the Organ Grinder in Denver. My parents would take me there for birthdays. Sometimes there and other times to Casa Bonita. Then Aurora …

Those were the Days! Organ Grinder In Portland, OR Not rated yet
I miss these old restaurants like the Organ Grinder Pizza in Portland, OR! It had the 1970's bubble windows and some dork defaced the old building (someone …

Disney Characters At Organ Grinder Pizza Not rated yet
At the Organ Grinder Pizza in Portland, I remember they would have Disney characters skip down the ramp. I believe they were Mickey and Minnie Mouse. …

My Story of Organ Grinder Pizza Not rated yet
We lived in Molalla and would drive to Portland just to hear the huge organ played at Organ Grinder Pizza. I remenber hearing 'Santa' played and thinking …

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Organ Grinder Pizza Was Never Too Far To Go! Not rated yet
Although we lived in Hillsboro, it was never too far to go to the Organ Grinder in Portland for pizza! It was always a family outing and we enjoyed …

A Tale Of Two Organ Grinders Not rated yet
My name is Ed and I live in the Denver,CO area. Denver had an Organ Grinder Pizza in the early 1970's. It was on West Alameda Ave. in Denver. The …

Oregon Grinder Pizza Memories...... Not rated yet
My grandparents lived in Keiser for years and when we would visit from Eastern Oregon, Organ Grinder Pizza was one of our favorite places in the world …

Falstaff Dark Beer at Organ Grinder Pizza Not rated yet
When I lived in Eugene, in 1984, I went to the Organ Grinder for pizza with friends. What neat atmosphere, I thought back then. Falstaff Dark beer? …

I Remember The Organ Grinder And That Cantankerous Monkey! Not rated yet
How sad that such a great place as the Organ Grinder is gone. When husband, baby daughter (at the time) and I wanted to do something real special, we …

Washington Girl visits Portland's Organ Grinder Pizza Not rated yet
The Organ Grinder restaurant/pizzaria was the highlight of my semi-annual trips to Portland. My Mom and Grandma would take me there as a treat if I …

Organ Grinder Fond Memories Not rated yet
I sure remember Organ Grinder Pizza in Portland! Any time relatives came from out of town, they always wanted to go there just because they …

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