in focus: Bado’s turns 30

During the 30 years Bado’s Pizza Grill and Ale House has been in business, the owners may have changed the name three times but they have never strayed from their family values.

“I have real tight reins on that,” says Frank Badolato, owner and founder of Bado’s Pizza Grill and Ale House. “The atmosphere is more for families than it ever was.”

Badolato opened his restaurant in 1984. Back then it was Pizza Piazza, a small shop that seated about 15 people. Badolato was shocked by the number of school kids who would pack the joint for the Bado’s “cut and a Coke for a buck” special. “I like was like ‘look at all these kids!’ This is crazy!”

After the first five years, Badolato needed some more room to accommodate his customers, so he moved across the street to the restaurant’s current location, 307 Beverly Road. In just two days, the pizza shop settled into its new home and sported a new name, Bado’s Pizza and Deli.

Since then, the restaurant has evolved, getting a liquor license in 1999, and Badolato changed the name a third time to reflect that growth.

“We changed the name because we’re more than a pizza shop,” Badolato says.

Bado’s serves breakfast on weekends

Today, the restaurant seats more than 150 people in the dining area, the patio and the party room. Bado’s serves lunch and dinner, which includes the same style pizzas they’ve made from the start, seven days a week and breakfast on the weekends. They offer draft and bottled beer and feature wine and local favorite Wigle Whiskey.

Bado’s also caters events and often supplies local high school sports teams with pizzas. They host trivia on Wednesdays and family nights on Tuesdays, and sometimes live music on Thursdays.

Badolato comes from a family of cooks. His father use to bake bread every morning, when the shop still included a deli, and Badolato’s spaghetti sauce comes from his mother’s original recipe. “We did a lot of experimenting when we first opened up,” Badolato says.

Now his daughter, Geena Badolato, is helping her dad bring Bado’s into the technological age. She is currently developing a smartphone app where customers can view the entire Bado’s menu and place orders. She also manages Bado’s Facebook account and recently revamped the website.

Geena, who graduated from Robert Morris University with a degree in management marketing in 2014, is happy to bring what she learned at college back to her family business. “It’s cool to put what I learned to work and see the results coming online through customers and reports,” Geena says.

Badolato wants his restaurant to always be a place where families can come together. He says many of the kids who came to his first shop location for their cuts and Cokes now stop by Bado’s with their own children.

“My favorite part has just been keeping busy and getting to see old friends who stop in to say ‘hi,’” Badolato says. “It’s been a great experience.”

Wondering what beer goes well with Bado’s food? Check out five delicious pairings:

Wings (hot, BBQ, sweet chili, Cajun dry rub, Guinness honey mustard, garlic buttered parmesan)

Stouts or Porters – Guinness and Great Lakes Black Out Stout


Cheese/pepperoni Pizza 

IPA’s – Sierra Nevada and Victory Hop Devil


Ferrari style Pizza (eggplant, roasted red peppers, Sicilian olives, provolone and marinara sauce)

IPA’s – East End Big Hop and Dogfish 60 or 90 min.


Meatball Hoagie

Blonde Ales – Leffe Blonde, Stella Artois, Harp and Chimay



Amber Ales – Great Lakes Conway’s Irish Ale and Smithwicks


Bruschetta Wedge Salad (Bado’s homemade bruschetta with fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinaigrette on a large wedge of salad)

Pilsner or Wheat Ale BlueMoon, Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, Franziskaner

Photos by George Mendel