Alex’s Pizza is more than an eatery, it’s an institution. Since 1961 this establishment in Roxborough has served pies with “basic toppings, two sizes, no slices” to locals and visitors alike, counter girl Kristina Benham said with a touch of pride.
Benham, the daughter of owners Joanne and John, is one of only two employees responsible for mixing a blend of special spices into the sauce. She credits the consistency of the sauce plus the experience customers receive as the primary draws for the pizzeria.
“The pies are fantastic. You can’t go wrong. It’s been 30 or 40 years since I’ve been coming to Alex’s and it’s been a great experience,” patron Joe Gallagher said while patting his stomach. “You see it right here: 290 pounds. That says it all.”
Alex’s changed ownership during the 1990s which left a poor taste in the mouths of many customers. Since the Benhams purchased the business located at 400 Leverington Ave. in 2007 they have gradually restored loyalty among their clientele.
Don’t let the faded flea-market-found sign or worn façade of Alex’s Pizza deceive you. Patrons travel from as far as Washington, D.C., to enjoy a pie with extra sauce.
“It’s kind of like walking into a dive bar basically,” patron Dominic Ciccolone said.
“It’s your corner hole in the wall pizza shop. It’s not a bright Papa John’s [Pizza] with anything artificial on the outside. [The employees are] probably the nicest people in the world. When you go in there they treat you like family.”