It was summer, 1959. Frankie Avalon was at the top of the charts and Sandra Dee played “Gidget” in the very first Beach Party movie. The Brooklyn Dodgers had just arrived in Los Angeles, but surfing w...as the real West Coast craze. The Pacific Coast Highway was dotted with woody wagons, convertibles and bubble blonde hairdos, and burgers were best served in a wrapper through a drive-thru window. California was legendary American landscape and the first Straw Hat Pizza parlor was perched to join the list of California icons.
Opening its doors for the first time in San Leandro, a small town on San Francisco Bay, Straw Hat began serving its trailblazing “Genuine California Pizza” on July 10, 1959. It was an unrivaled pizza with a layered, flaky crust, the freshest toppings, light sauce, and six kinds of naturally aged cheese. Straw Hat’s California creation was unlike any other pizza. It was crisper and tastier, and it satisfied a “Left Coast” appetite for fresher, lighter, and more unique offerings. Little did anyone realize at the time, but Straw Hat was on the cutting edge of a taste trend that would last for more than five decades to come.