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Happy Joe's

Kate, Matt, & Natalie

Happy Joe's Pizza and Ice Cream Parlor is a Quad-Cities institution. It's a regional pizza chain, and when I was growing up, it was the place to have a birthday party. Anyhow, when I was in junior high and high school, our family used to join one or two others for a weekly Sunday night trip to HJ. Needless to say, as kids started leaving for college, the tradition kind of fell by the wayside.

Last night we had something of a Happy Joe's reunion, even though most of the "kids" are still elsewhere. We took over a corner of the place with about 16 or 17 people, zipped through several large pizzas, and had a lovely time. The pic above (which links to the Flickr set of our evening) is of my sister-in-law's kids (my step-nephew and nieces?) Kate, Matt, and Natalie. Oh, and that's Happy Joe himself who's staring out at you from the menu. And the beverage cups. And the pizza dish. And the napkins. It's hard not to feel that Happy Joe is still watching me as I write this....


This is fine. You have my Official Approval for ice-cream parlor shindigs. Just stay away from the frog-jumping contests and the church socials, if you want to be allowed back into NY.

Like they don't have frog-jumping contests in Earlville...right.

I think I may have mentioned this before on your blog Collin, but I lived in Davenport as a child-- rather briefly, just from second to sixth grade. I don't actually have a lot of vivid memories of Davenport, but I do certainly remember Happy Joe's. It used to be quite a bit bigger of a chain than it is now. Anyway, I remember the whole white and red barbershop quartet-styled stripes in the place, that's for sure, along with the perfect combination of pizza and ice cream. I recall the guy "Happy Joe" as having a motorcycle with sidecar; I don't know if that's actually true or not though....

Hey, Earlville wishes it had a frog-jumping contest. About all we have is a Gas 'n' Sip.