FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1976
In the summer of 1976, Henry “Hank” Zwirek and his buddy, Ed, both native Chicagoans, grew tired of living in the windy city and relocated to Houston. Hank realized the burgeoning city lacked high quality pizza and delivery service (which was a norm in Chicago). Acting on Hank’s instincts, the two lease>d then later purchased a quaint two-story house on Norfolk and in October of 1976, a Star (pizza) was born.
The first couple of years were extremely grueling. Hank and Ed lived on the second floor while operating the restaurant on the ground level. Opening the kitchen at 3 AM for hungry patrons was nothing out of the ordinary. Just as the restaurants hours were dictated by the customer’s demands, so was the high quality of the ingredients used and attention to taste and detail, a theme that continues at Star Pizza. To Hank anything less than perfection was not an option.
Star Pizza separated itself from other restaurants by offering unique and original menu items including deep-dish pie, vegetarian options, and whole wheat crust. Houstonians, who were fans of steak and potatoes, were not familiar with vegetarian foods or pizza that required a fork and knife. Soon, however, they developed a love for Star Pizza. Word of mouth began to spread about the delicious pizza that was cookin’ and business was booming! To accommodate the demand, Hank and Ed turned their living quarters on the second floor into a dining room.
In the early 1980’s Hank became the sole owner and began a family shortly after. While living in the Heights, business continued to thrive and Hank was eager to expand. In the summer of 1988 a second Star was born, affectionately named Star 2. The offspring of the original was located at 140 S. Heights Blvd. in the building that’s now home to Chatter’s.
Hank’s keen sense of trends in the spring of 1999 led him to make a wise real-estate investment. The investment: Rockefeller’s, the former Satellite Lounge, and Leo’s Mexican restaurant. Four years later, Star 2 moved to 77 Harvard, where it remains today. The original Star is still located in the house on Norfolk, and continues to offer the same homely atmosphere as it did in 1976. To this day the Zwirek family owns and operates both Star Pizzas and thanks their loyal Star Pizzanites for their support throughout the years.