Dino’s Pizza is Doomed

Dino's Pizza 05-02-2014On the way down Broadway, I spotted Dino’s Pizza and recalled seeing a story in The Missourian that the building had been bought by the university and was going to be torn down. The April 28, 2014, Business Notebook said asbestos abatement would begin in the next few weeks, and demolition of the building would start the week of May 19. The property will be seeded and become green space, the university told The Missourian.

Building badly damaged by fire

Dino's Pizza 05-02-2014The Missourian reported on August 11, 2011, that Dino’s Pizza at 1034 Broadway was heavily damaged by an early morning fire on August 10. Investigators thought it was an electrical fire. Two cats were removed from the building, but they died of smoke inhalation.

The building was condemned by the city a month after the fire. The Missourian reported that Owner Kostas “Gus” Demopoulos said the building will be demolished, but as of right now, he intends to rebuild. According to the condemnation notice, he will have 30 days after Sept. 25 to either repair or demolish building.

As you can see, the 30 days managed to drag out almost three years.

Nicholas Demopoulos died Feb. 5, 2011

Dino's Pizza 05-02-2014I never had a Dino’s pizza so far as I know. Our family always headed to Tony’s Pizza Palace across from the Rialto Theater.

What I didn’t know until I read his obit was that Nicholas Demopoulos, who took over ownership of Dino’s, had been a pizza cook at Tony’s when he and his family came to Cape Girardeau from Greece in 1969. He had quite an interesting life.

Click on the photos to make the disappearing Cape landmark larger.




21 Replies to “Dino’s Pizza is Doomed”

  1. You cleared up a mystery for me. Eating at Dino’s was very similar to eating at Tony’s. The pizza was very similar and I loved it. Cut into small squares, balls of sausage resting in a small pool of grease and a dough dusted with flour. Dino’s chicken and MoJos was another favorite for me. I’m having a pizza dream fill my head as I’m typing.

  2. Wow, Nic and I used to lift weights in Marvin’s Rosengartens’ weight lifting class in 1966 he was a big strong guy and the cook at Tony’s. Now I know the rest of the story. I d remember him tossing Pizza’s in front of Tony’s. I always thought is was funny that Greeks owned and made the best Pizza.

  3. I only ate at Dino’s once or twice. It would have taken dynamite to get me away from Pagliai’s; I’ve never tasted any sauce comparable to theirs. I always wondered how Dino’s and the Semo Pizza Palace (a block or two west) were able to compete with Pagliai’s. Sounds like Dino’s stood the test of time, but I know Semo Pizza Palace did not; in the 70s it became a CB Radio Shop, in the 80s it was a fitness place, and now it’s Mississippi Mutts pet grooming.

  4. I remember many 2:30AM rendezvous at Dino’s with friends enjoying Nick’s toasted Raviolli’s circa 1971-75. What fond memories of my college days in Cape!

  5. Ken, looking at the pictures, I can’t help but notice the architecture of the house that Dino’s was attached to. The arched windows with limestone window sills indicate that the building was built just about the turn of the 19th – 20th century. The very large arched window opening would have been somewhat of a rarity. There is more of a story in the origins and life of the main structure. Maybe Fred and Sharon at the Missourian can shed some light on the early life of the main building.

  6. Would have never made it through finals week at SEMO in the late 70’s without delivery to my dorm room of an 85 cent Dino’s burger! Yum!

  7. Mojos and a Po Boy sandwich! Oh boy, I can taste ’em now!
    Pizza was great also. Good times and memories.Would take a break there while cruisin’ Broadway on a Saturday night in the mid 70s.

  8. I wouldn’t have made it through college without mojo’s and Dino’s Pizza. I hate thr thought of yet another landmark of history being demolished. It was a grest hangout in the 70s.

  9. i loved tony’s pizza. crust was perfect. you could watch the one guy tossing that crust up in the air. dino’s was great too because they had those mojo potatoes. but o liked all of them pagliia’s is great. i try to make sure when i visit cape i go there..and to the pilot house and wibb’s good food and good memories. in st.louis iomo’s was king..but i can barely stand to eat them. nothing beats those pizza places in cape. good food and good memories thanks for posting this

  10. It all sounds so mouth watering, I want some right now.
    However, I’m asking how did Shakey’s fit into the pizza picture. I knew someone who played the piano there while working his way through college.
    At least I think it was in Cape.

    1. Shakey’s was a few blocks east of Dino’s and Pagliai’s, on the south side of Broadway. It was a rickety, tumble-down building, and you took your life in your hands if you had to go upstairs to the john. But Shakey’s was the first of the bunch to offer an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, featuring that new-fangled invention called a ‘Salad Bar’.

  11. Oh how I miss Dino’s food! I never took that place across the street, but have many fond memories of Dino’s. I even worked there for a while, and I loved Fatula! She was one of the best characters I’ve met in my life. So sad this place has expired, it will always hold a place in my heart.

  12. Rickety and tumble-down atmosphere must be a signature of Shakey’s. Also a pitcher of beer and then looking for the most out of the way john ever was another one.
    Singing along with the musicians was always great fun,
    but darn if I have any memory of how the pizza tasted.
    The others sound like the real thing.

    Thanks Laura for the response

  13. I remember going to Dino’s after many a fraternity function. There was one pledge class that had the owners help them to get the actives to pronounce the Greek alphabet correctly.

  14. WHAAATTTTT?!?! When did THIS happen? I remember going there repeatedly for their spanikopita. I have GOT to get home.

  15. Ate many pizzas and lots of toasted Ravioli at Dino’s in the 70’s. Best pizza in town. Loved their crust. Shakey’s was for mojos and Beer and watching Little Rascals on the big screen. Wonderful memories.

  16. Does anybody know if Gus has considered re-opening Dino’s at another location? He’s only 58, just a “spring chicken”! But Gus, don’t do it unless you use that exact same sausage that creates those little grease puddles. And don’t change anything on the mojos and the chicken…that is, don’t change the grease for a few weeks!

  17. I agree with everything that I have read about Tony’s and Dino’s.
    Great pizza after a show or anytime during the day.
    Bring Dino’s back ASAP.

  18. We loved Dino’s and would love to have some Dino’s Mojo’s and Chicken , Where can we get some or get the recipe,

    1. I can’t help you because I must have been the only person in Cape who never ate there.

      On a side note, I’m sorry your comment didn’t appear quickly. New users have their comments moderated, and I wasn’t in front of the computer this morning to approve it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *