Pizza Bob's: An Ann Arbor Original

Below is an account of the long history of Pizza Bob's, combining first-hand customer, former employee and community member accounts with resources from The Michigan Daily digital archives and Ann Arbor District Library archives.  If you see any errors, please stop by Pizza Bob's and tell any random employee all about it - that's part of the tradition.

1960's

1964

  • Wilson Loy, owner of Loy’s Place (810 S. State) and Double D Restaurant (333 E. Huron) opens Pizza Loy & Dairy Joy at 814 S. State

1966

  • Towards the end of his 22-year career as a cabdriver, Bob Marsh finds extra money delivering pizzas in his cab for his friend, Wilson Loy.   In October, due to health issues, Loy is in need of new in-house management. Desperate to find the right manager, Loy turns to Bob and Marsh trades in his cabbie hat for an apron to forever become Pizza Bob.

  • Pizza Bob quickly makes his mark on the menu, adding submarines sandwiches and overhauling the pizza recipe.

1969

  • Joined by his wife, Edith “Pizza Babe” Marsh, Bob becomes the face, heart and soul of Pizza Loy.  Once Bob catches a customer’s name, it is forever imprinted on his brain.  And whether a bout of verbal sparring between Bob and “Babe”, dolling out life advice or collaborating on a new menu item, Bob makes a connection with each customer that walks through the door.

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1970's

1971

  • In August, while travelling home from Florida, Pizza Bob suffers a heart attack and is hospitalized.  Several days later, August 14, he suffers a second, fatal heart attack and passes away.  The Ann Arbor community mourns the loss of a beloved figure.

1980's

1983

  • Venturing into live music during the Ann Arbor Art Fair, Pizza Bob’s partners with nearby bar, Rick’s American Cafe, to host concerts on the porch of Pizza Bob’s Midtown Cafe (618 Church St.).

1983

  • Ready to move on to new endeavors, “Typical Tim” Seaver sells Pizza Bob’s Downtown to store manager Bob Cranson.  Seaver would go on to open Tio’s Tex-Mex restaurant at the former location of Pizza Loy - Double D (333 E. Huron) in 1985.

1984

  • Closing out his stake, Seaver sells the Pizza Bob’s Midtown location (618 Church) to Alex Altier, who opens Morelli’s.  Morelli's would later be replaced by Pizza House.

  • Taco Bobs opens at the former location of Pizza Bob’s Uptown (810 S. State).

1986

  • Taco Bob's closes, replaced by Mr. Spot's.   Mr. Spot's stays at 810 S. State until 2003 when it moves to 808 S. State.  The former location of Pizza Bob's Uptown currently houses BTB.

1973

  • The Pizza Bob’s Pizza Truck is launched and makes rounds at on-campus housing throughout Ann Arbor.

1974

  • Pizza Bob’s expands to 810 S. State, opening Pizza Bob's Uptown were The Garbage Pit had previously been.

1979

  • Pizza Bob’s expands to a third Ann Arbor location, opening  Pizza Bob’s Midtown Cafe at 618 Church St.

1972

  • To carry on his spirit, Pizza Loy managers “Fast Eddie” Andrews and “Typical Tim” Seaver buy the restaurant, reopening it as Pizza Bob’s.  Andrews would later leave Ann Arbor in the late 70's to live in San Diego.

  • The new owners expand offerings when they opened The Garbage Pit at 810 S. State, offering burgers, tacos, egg rolls, chili and more.

1990's

1991

  • The Michigan Daily honors Pizza Bob’s as “Best Chipati” in its “Best of Ann Arbor”.

1996

  • Pizza Bob’s again receives acclaim in The Michigan Daily’s “Best of Ann Arbor”, this time for “Best Subs”.

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2000's

2000

  • Like Tim Seaver before him, Bob Cranson, owner since 1983, is ready to explore new opportunities.  Keen to preserve the Pizza Bob’s legacy, Cranson sells Pizza Bob’s to long-time customers, Terry and Pam Pietryga.

  • Cranson has since relocated to Tuscon, AZ where he owns and operates a Therapeutic Massage & Personal Training practice. Link

2002

  • Pizza Bob’s is listed as “Best Hot Subs” in The Michigan Daily’s “Best of Ann Arbor”.

2004

  • The Michigan Daily’s honors Pizza Bob’s as “Best Takeout” in annual “Best of Ann Arbor”.

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2010's

2010

  • Pizza Bob’s ranks #4 on Bleacher Report’s “College Football: 10 Best Places to Get Game-Day Food”. Link

2016

  • Pizza Bob’s receives mention in University of Michigan section in Thrillist article, “The Most Beautiful Public College Campuses in America”. Link

2017

  • USA Today 10 Best’s “10 things you need to eat (and drink) in Michigan” includes the Chipati at #3. Link

2019

  • After years spent perfecting the process, Pizza Bob’s bottles its famous Chipati Sauce for direct sale to customers. Link

2020's

2020

  • After 54 years at 814 S. State St. (1966-1971 as Pizza Loy – Dairy Joy, 1972-2020 as Pizza Bob’s), Pizza Bob’s relocates to 800 S. State St.

  • While Pizza Bob’s has had different addresses and owners through the years, its legacy of serving the Ann Arbor community remains unchanged.  And the spirit of Bob “Pizza Bob” Marsh lives on.

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