Catanzaro’s employee, Jennie Lanum, slices up a pizza in the kitchen. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writers
Photo: Contributing Writers

The storied tradition behind Springfield’s Italian-owned pizza house

It all started with fruits and veggies. Today, Catanzaro’s is famous for its authentic old-world style pizza and overstuffed subs. Here’s the story of how this business got its start and has changed through the decades.

Restaurant: Russ and Joe Catanzaro’s Old World Style Pizza and Subs

Location: 433 Dayton Ave., Springfield


  • Website:
  • Telephone: (937) 322-3791

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Joe Catanzaro, right, and his wife, Linda, pose for a picture with staff members Don Oder and Jennie Lanum in the store. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writers

Background/Overview: The Catanzaro family opened their first fancy fruit and fresh vegetable stand at the old City Market in 1889. Russ Catanzaro was born in 1911. He served in World War II, and then returned home to Springfield to work again in the family business.

Russ and his son Joe decided to build their own shop on Dayton Avenue in 1951. When they first opened, they sold fruits, vegetables, pizza and subs, however, they returned to selling just produce in the 1960s.

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Joe reverted to selling pizza in the shop in the late 1980s. He wanted to exhibit his family’s favorite old world style pizza to his customers. Then, one day he was making a “Torpedo” sandwich for himself and his employee Nancy for lunch. A local factory worker happened to come into the shop at that very moment and saw that great-looking sandwich ready to eat! He asked if he could buy it, and a stunned Joe sold to him with pleasure. The very next day, Joe began making and selling overstuffed submarine sandwiches, along with the pizza.

Containers full of candy at Catanzaro’s. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writers

Today, Russ & Joe Catanzaro’s Old World Style Pizza and Subs is still the only Italian-owned pizza house in Springfield. And, is set in the exact location they built 67 years ago. The shop’s general manager for the past 11 years is their friend, Don Oder.

Catanzaro’s signature pizza crust, sauce, Italian bread, lasagna, chicken wings, and salads are additive-free and preservative-free and made daily onsite. Russ said, “We better keep ‘em (customers) healthy!”

Also, Catanzaro’s sells the highest quality seasonal fancy fruits, fresh vegetables, bulk novelty candies, 30 varieties of potato chips, freshly packaged desserts, and showcased ice cream treats, amongst many other items. Joe says, “More than you expect, just what you deserve!”

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A deluxe pizza at Catanzaro’s, fresh out of the oven. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writers

The Menu:

  • Beverages: Beverages in bottles and cans are cooler-displayed and market-priced.
  • Pizza: Cheese pizza-$7.99 (12 inch)/$9.99 (14 inch)/$12.99 (16 inch).
  • Toppings-$1.50 each/$1.75 each/$2 each
  • Gourmet Pizzas (include): Italian Bread Pizza-$4.99 (12 inch); Italian Trio Pizza-$12.99/$15.99/$20.99; White Pizza-$12.99/$15.99/$20.99; Catanzaro’s Deluxe Pizza-$15.99/$17.99/$22.99; Catanzaro’s Traditional Veggie Pizza-
  • $15.99/$18.99/$23.99; Hawaiian Delight Pizza-$15.99/$17.99/$22.99; Meat Lover’s Pizza-$16.99/$18.99/$23.99; Mediterranean Wonder-$20.99/$24.99/$31.99.
  • Twelve-inch Overstuffed Subs: Bacon/Ham/Turkey, Italian Sausage, Killer Reuben, Meatball, Mushroom Steak, Philly Beef and Cheese, Pizza Steak, Pizza Sub, Three Meat Italian Grinder, Turkey Breast/Bacon, Veggie Sub-$9.99 each.
  • Six-inch “Junior” Overstuffed Sub: $6.49.
  • Lasagna (Beef, Five-Cheese or Veggie): One pound-$7.99 or with salad and garlic bread-$8.99; two pounds-$9.99 or w/salad & garlic bread-$10.99.
  • Chicken Wings: BBQ, Hot, Italian or Plain-$5.99 (six)/$7.99 (nine)/$9.99 (12).
  • Salads: Junior Salad-$3.99; Large Salad-$4.99; Deluxe Chicken Salad or
  • Italian Salad-$7.99.
  • Sandwiches: Chicken Salad Sandwich or Ham Salad Sandwich-$9.99.
  • Sides: Macaroni salad-$2.99 pound; Pasta salad-$3.49 pound.; Loaded Potato Salad-$4.99; hand-rolled breadsticks-$5.99.
  • Fresh Fruits (presently): Freestone Peaches-$1.69 lb.; X-large Cantaloupe-$2.99 each; Handcrafted Fruit Baskets w/seasonal fruit-$25 and up.
  • Fresh Vegetables (presently): X-large Texas Yellow Sweet Onions-99 cents a pound; vine-ripe tomatoes-$1.99 pound
  • Desserts: X-large Cookie-$1.39; Apple Pie-$2.99 a slice; Brownie or Cannoli-$2.99 each or two for $5; Strawberry Roll or Pumpkin Roll-$2.99; Coconut Meringue Pie or Lemon Meringue Pie-$3.29 a slice; Carrot Cake or German Chocolate Cake-$3.99 a slice; New York-Style Cheesecake-$3.99 a slice; Turtle Cheesecake-$4.59 a slice; White Chocolate Cheesecake-$4.99 a slice.
  • Showcased Ice Cream Treats: Frozen treats- 69 cents and up.

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The Catanzaro’s store filled with fresh produce. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writers


Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

More Information:

Call-ahead orders are greatly appreciated. Delivery is offered until 30 minutes before closing.

Pan pasta, party trays and gift baskets can be handcrafted for all of your occasions; and Catanzaro’s catering orders include the set-up and clean-up.

Joe Catanzaro is a Mad River Township Trustee since 2010. He also owns Catanzaro’s Carriage Inn Restaurant in Enon. Telephone: (937) 864-1307.

Look for local restaurant profiles by Glenn and Kim Creyts every other week in “Life.” For inquiries regarding this column, and “Restaurant Profile” ideas and suggestions for future columns, please contact Glenn and Kim via e-mail:

A sign hanging over the counter lets people know how long Catanzaro’s has been around. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writers