MESA, AZ - The old saying, "They just don't make them like they used to," definitely rings true when you walk into Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa.
"The capital required to start something like this today would be impossible," said Jack Barz, manager and one of three owners of the restaurant, all of which started as dishwashers or counter attendants there as teens.
He's talking about the 6,000-pipe theater organ that's standing three stories tall right behind him, and above him, and all around the acre-size building we're standing in.
Built in 1927 for a theater in Denver, Colorado, the "Mighty Wurlitzer" now resides near Stapley and Southern, and has had some slightly updated modifications, like electronic relays and four giant wind turbines.
While the 85-year-old organ itself is amazing, watching Lew Williams, one of three organists who play for Organ Stop, is a sight in itself.
Controlling not only every instrument, but the lighting as well, Lew begins his 45-minute set (one of five most nights) rising up out of the floor on a giant rotating pedestal and finishes going back down.
Did I mention you're watching all this while eating great food?
Organ Stop Pizza
1149 E. Southern Avenue
Mesa, Arizona 85204
Sunday to Thursday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
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