Waldo’s Pizza Returns to Rochester with New Food Truck This Summer

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Waldo’s Pizza Joynt, once a beloved pizzeria in Rochester, Minnesota, is making a comeback this summer with a food truck. The truck will serve up Waldo’s signature Barnstormer pizza and other specialties around Rochester. This comes after the local Waldo’s restaurants closed in the late 1990s, leading fans to travel to St. Cloud for their pizza fix. The food truck is a step towards potentially reopening a permanent Waldo’s location in Rochester.

A Slice of History

Waldo’s Pizza Joynt has been a well-loved name in Rochester’s dining scene, first established in 1977. The original founders sold the Rochester location and opened a new one in St. Cloud. Waldo’s became a household name under the ownership of the Sitzer brothers, who expanded the business by adding locations in Apache Mall and on 37th Street. However, by the late 1990s, these spots had all shut their doors.

Mike Henning, the current owner of Waldo’s in St. Cloud, frequently sees groups from Rochester who drive up just to relive the tastes of their youth. Henning’s connection to the original Waldo’s and his understanding of its nostalgic value to Rochester have inspired him to revive Waldo’s presence in the city, albeit initially on wheels.

Bringing Pizza Back on the Road

Henning and his sons have been working for 15 years to reintroduce Waldo’s to Rochester. Their plan now involves a specially outfitted food truck, ready to deliver the same quality pizza that patrons remember. The truck, set to begin its journeys in July, is designed to be a fully functional mobile pizzeria, larger and more robust than typical food trucks, ensuring that the pizza is as good as it’s made in a permanent kitchen.

The Henning family hopes that the food truck’s presence in Rochester this summer will be the first step in reintroducing Waldo’s Pizza Joynt to the community. They aim to reconnect with the city by collaborating with local breweries and stores during their stops.

A Look Forward

While some Rochester residents may wish for a permanent Waldo’s return, the food truck is a strategic move to gauge community interest and support. According to Mike Henning, “Some people will be excited. Some will probably be a little disappointed that it is not something more permanent. But this is the first step of getting back in the communities where we’re known and build that excitement.”

If successful, the food truck could lead to the opening of a new brick-and-mortar Waldo’s Pizza Joynt in Rochester. This would allow Waldo’s to permanently serve the community it once thrived in, making the nostalgic pizza experience an everyday reality for its longtime fans.

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