Pasquale's Pizza & Pasta

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Pasquale's Pizza & Pasta is a Hoover-based chain of Italian restaurants. The company currently operates about two dozen Pasquale's in six states, with one location still operating in Gardendale.

Pasquale's Pizza was founded in 1953 in Cincinnati, Ohio by Pasquale (Pat) and Vincent Gramaglia. It became the first chain pizza restaurant in the country. By 1961 the company operated a Birmingham main office at 662 Tuscaloosa Avenue Southwest.

The company was sold in 1969 to Birmingham franchisee Neal Andrews. Andrews took the 125-restuarant chain public as Pasquale's Food Co. of Alabama, Inc., and hired Les Nuby Jr as president.

Nuby nearly doubled the chain's size to a high of 244 in 1977. C. Pat Reynolds was the franchise owner for six of the restaurants during this time.

Andrews sold the company to John Labatt Ltd of London, Ontario, Canada on December 9, 1986. Andrews collected his stock payment in cash and retired from business that day. Nuby and John Sanford remained to manage the subsidiary, which remained successful for the next several years. Labatt reorganized its American holdings in 1990, consolidating its operations in Eugene, Oregon. The contents of the company's Birmingham facilities were auctioned on July 15. Labatt sold 35 Pasquale's restaurants to Millard Deason, the division's financial manager. Deason sold the company, which had shrunk to 25 locations, to Dora native Wayne Sellers and a group of investors on August 8, 2006.

Sellers, current CEO, and his partners have planned to regrow the company into a large chain, with as many as 1,200 locations under the name Pasquale's Italian Cafe. Current locations were to be renovated and franchisees sought starting in 2007. The concept also includes a six-day work week, with the restaurants being closed on Sundays.

The Pasquale's in Gardendale was owned by Bob Braswell for 37 years. In 2014, he retired and transferred management responsibilities to his niece, Patti Cardwell. Braswell and Cardwell are part of a tradition in their family of owning Pasquale’s franchises; Cardwell has a cousin, an aunt and another uncle that have all owned a restaurant bearing the Pasquale’s name.

Birmingham District locations

Pasquale's in Gardendale, June 2015

Former locations

Pasquale's in Clay, January 2011


  • Williams, Roy L. (October 12, 2006) "Pasquale's new owners plan major expansion" The Birmingham News
  • Nuby, Lester Jr (2012) First: Breaking Generational Poverty. self-published/iUniverse
  • Montgomery, Ben (August 10, 2014) "Pasquale's under new ownership" North Jefferson News

External links