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Don’t be surprised if an unexpected guest joins you for a slice today. A constant presence at Old Town Pizza is Nina (pronounced “Nigh-na”), our resident ghost. If you feel a presence behind you, or smell a faint waft of perfume, you may have just received a visit. Nina is often seen in a black dress observing diners and wandering the basement below. Nina’s been here for more than 100 years. It was in 1880 that two successful lumber barons built the Merchant Hotel on this block, catering to Portland’s finest patrons. Old Town Pizza sits in the original hotel lobby. In fact the window where you place your pizza order is the original hotel’s reception desk and is flanked by the lobby’s original decorative cast iron beam posts. Underneath the floor boards are the Shanghai Tunnels connecting Portland via underground pathways, then used to nab unsuspecting sailors and transport them to ships docked on the river, and can be viewed during private tours. Old Town Pizza sits in what used to be called the Old North End, a section of the city with a rather questionable reputation. Despite the upstanding clientele of the Merchant Hotel, even it was known for offering one of the oldest professions in the world: prostitution. As legend goes, one of the young “working women” was Nina, sold into this life by a thriving white slavery market. In an effort to clean up the neighborhood, traveling missionaries convinced Nina to share information in exchange for freeing her from a fate she did not choose. Nina cooperated but soon afterward was found dead in the hotel, now Old Town Pizza. Thrown down the elevator shaft, Nina is reported to have never left the building. Could it be Nina who carved her name in the brick of the old elevator shaft, now the backdrop of a cozy booth in the rear of the restaurant? Rich in history, Old Town Pizza was founded in 1974 when the Accuardi family opened the doors of the now legendary Portland landmark. The lobby of the Merchant Hotel was transformed into the hippest pizza joint in town. Generations of Old Town Pizza loyalists remember the restaurant as a bustling hang-out for leaders in Portland’s counterculture scene of the 70s. Actor Willem Dafoe was a regular at the time and could usually be found lounging on a couch on the mezzanine. And Portland Trail Blazer superstar Bill Walton was known to ride his bike to Old Town Pizza where he would order his usual: a large vegetarian pizza and pitcher of Henry's. He would often bring his teammates with him and is said to have closed the place down more than once. Back in the day there were Old Town Pizza restaurants in Salem, Eugene and San Francisco, but the original location in Portland was the survivor. Today the Milne family keeps the Old Town Pizza legacy alive, nurturing a little piece of Portland’s past for the next generation.

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About Old Town Pizza

Don’t be surprised if an unexpected guest joins you for a
slice today. A constant presence at Old Town Pizza is Nina
(pronounced “Nigh-na”), our resident ghost. If you feel a
presence behind you, or smell a faint waft of perfume, you
may have just received a visit. Nina is often seen in a black
dress observing diners and wandering the basement below.

Nina’s been here for more than 100 years. It was in 1880
that two successful lumber barons built the Merchant Hotel
on this block, catering to Portland’s finest patrons. Old Town
Pizza sits in the original hotel lobby. In fact the window
where you place your pizza order is the original hotel’s
reception desk and is flanked by the lobby’s original
decorative cast iron beam posts. Underneath the floor boards
are the Shanghai Tunnels connecting Portland via
underground pathways, then used to nab unsuspecting
sailors and transport them to ships docked on the river, and
can be viewed during private tours.

Old Town Pizza sits in what used to be called the Old North
End, a section of the city with a rather questionable
reputation. Despite the upstanding clientele of the Merchant
Hotel, even it was known for offering one of the oldest
professions in the world: prostitution. As legend goes, one of
the young “working women” was Nina, sold into this life by a
thriving white slavery market. In an effort to clean up the
neighborhood, traveling missionaries convinced Nina to
share information in exchange for freeing her from a fate
she did not choose. Nina cooperated but soon afterward was
found dead in the hotel, now Old Town Pizza. Thrown down
the elevator shaft, Nina is reported to have never left the
building. Could it be Nina who carved her name in the brick
of the old elevator shaft, now the backdrop of a cozy booth in
the rear of the restaurant?

Rich in history, Old Town Pizza was founded in 1974 when
the Accuardi family opened the doors of the now legendary
Portland landmark. The lobby of the Merchant Hotel was
transformed into the hippest pizza joint in town.
Generations of Old Town Pizza loyalists remember the
restaurant as a bustling hang-out for leaders in Portland’s
counterculture scene of the 70s. Actor Willem Dafoe was a
regular at the time and could usually be found lounging on a
couch on the mezzanine. And Portland Trail Blazer
superstar Bill Walton was known to ride his bike to Old
Town Pizza where he would order his usual: a large
vegetarian pizza and pitcher of Henry's. He would often
bring his teammates with him and is said to have closed the
place down more than once. Back in the day there were Old
Town Pizza restaurants in Salem, Eugene and San
Francisco, but the original location in Portland was the
survivor. Today the Milne family keeps the Old Town Pizza
legacy alive, nurturing a little piece of Portland’s past for the
next generation.