Located at the corner of Shaw and Thurman streets, St. Louis, MO, 63110 / Cake artist: Theresa Hopkins

 

“The square behind compare” David Freese did commercials for it. John Goodman often eats here whenever he’s in town. Jon Hamm showed America how to cut and eat Imo’s Pizza on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. It is even said that Brett Hull decided to stay with the Blues in 1988 over an Imo’s Pizza pie. The most popular pizza chain to come out of St. Louis originated in the Tower Grove area in 1964. Started by Ed & Margie Imo, Ed worked as a tile cutter/setter by the day. On Friday nights, the Imos would wait until 11:30 at night to order pizza (for religious purposes) from restaurants at the Hill neighborhood. They decided to open a pizza place on Thurman Street, and the rest is history.

Imo’s Pizza has prospered in becoming one of the most successful restaurant chains to come out of St. Louis. It became a franchising company in 1985. Today, there are more than 92 Imo’s locations and they are all in the Midwest. They are more than proud to advertise ‘St. Louis Style Pizza’! Imo’s is also noted for utilizing a popular St. Louis food: provel cheese. Provel cheese is what gives the pizza its flavor, besides the cracker-like crust.

They are regularly defined as the originators of ‘St. Louis Style Pizza’, or at least iconic in that pizza genre. Of course, there are other St. Louis-style pizza chains that are competing with them, most notably Cecil Whittaker’s. It is also believed they are the first to cut the pizza in squares. Not true, according to Margie Imo (in an interview with Fox 2/KTVI in 2013): ‘It’s a St. Louis thing. But no, we were not the first…’

Original Imo's Pizza sign
Original Imo’s Pizza sign, which is located on the Thurman side
Original Imo's Pizza building
Original Imo’s Pizza building

Cake placement date: April 8

Where is the cake now?: The cake has sat at the Hampton location since December 2014.    (May 2017)

Memories: In late August 2014, the cake was vandalized as the candle and the top of the cake were damaged. It was removed from the place in early October as it went through a re-finishing process. stl250 director Erin Budde promised it would return, but not at its original location. The newly re-touched cake arrived at the Hampton location (near I-64 and Forest Park).

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Imo’s Pizza on Facebook / Official website

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