This metro pizza joint going back 67 years changes its name to honor one of its founders
Eating pizza with fork and knife can easily cause a scandal, but if they’re gonna talk, let’s give them something to REALLY talk about. Buzz60's Maria Mercedes Galuppo has more. Buzz60
A decades-old Italian immigrant lineage in Des Moines continues with the recent renaming of a pizza joint with 67-year-old south side roots.
Brant Polito, 42, owner of Polito's at 210 Lincoln Street NE in Bondurant, has changed his restaurant's name to Abbie's in June 2018. Abbie is the nickname of his grandfather, Albert Polito, who was part-owner of Des Moines legend, Russ & Abbie's La Pizza House.
The pizza restaurant with original recipes going back 67 years is known for its homemade sausage pizza and The Worx Pizza made with Italian sausage, pepperoni, capicola, mushrooms, onions and green pepper.
Pizzas are sold in four sizes:
- Extra-small - 8 inches ($6.95)
- Small - 10 inches ($10.95)
- Medium - 12 inches ($12.95)
- Large - 14 inches ($15.95)
Chef and owner, Brant Polito, 42, said all pizzas are fashioned into Quad Cities-style pies, with the cheese melted over the toppings and slices cut horizontally with giant sheers. It's the way his grandfather did it since the beginning.
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Taco and meatball pizzas are available in all four sizes along with build-your-own pies to be loaded up with your choice of additional toppings like sweet peppers, jalapeño peppers, hot banana rings, black olives, green olives, sauerkraut, pineapple, anchovies, extra sauce and extra cheese.
The compact menu features plenty of Italian sandwiches plus a pork tenderloin, spaghetti and meatballs in full and half orders, garlic bread, and customizable baked cavatelli dishes.
And plenty of appetizers abound including hot wings, garlic cheese bread and the signature golden battered onion rings.
Polito said the onion rings are made with a recipe passed down from his aunt, Connie, and the restaurant has been making the hand-battered onion rings the same way since the late 1950s.
"I don't want to make the menu too big," Polito said. "I'd like to keep it smaller so that all of our food we provide is fresh and house-made."
London Murray, 50, is the manager of Abbie's and Polito's fiance of four years. The two live in Altoona.
Polito said he would like to expand the hours of the restaurant and open more future locations in the Des Moines metro.
A timeline of Polito's in Des Moines
- 1952 - Albert Polito and Russ Reel open Russ & Abbie's La Pizza House at 1013 SE 14th Street on Des Moines' south side. People can watch the pizza being made and the restaurant quickly becomes a place where local high school and community sports teams gather.
- 1993 - Abbie Polito leaves La Pizza House and retires to Arizona. Russ Reel continues to operate the restaurant.
- 2001 - Thomas Polito, Brant Polito's father and Abbie Polito's son, opens Polito's Pizza House at 210 Lincoln Street NE in Bondurant.
- 2009 - Thomas Polito opens another location, Polito's Pizza House II at 1701 SE Delaware Avenue in Ankeny and operates for one year before closing.
- 2010 - Russ Reel closes Russ & Abbie's La Pizza House on the south side.
- 2012 - Thomas Polito brings the restaurant back into the family — buying the building and the restaurant — to much excitement from Des Moines' south-siders. Thomas Polito changes the name of the restaurant to Polito's La Pizza House.
- 2014 to present - Polito's La Pizza House on Des Moines' south side moves to 1440 Maury Street and continues to operate.
- May 2017 - Polito's Pizza House in Bondurant closes. Four months later, Brant Polito opens Polito's in the same location.
- April 2018 - Brant Polito buys the Polito's building in Bondurant.
- June 2018 - Brant Polito changes the name 'Polito's' to 'Abbie's.'
Location: 210 Lincoln St., NE, Bondurant
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m.; closed Sunday through Tuesday.