527 S. Almaden Blvd
San Jose, CA 95110
In 1950, George Kukar and his brother built a two-story, 40x40 foot building at 395 Almaden Ave in hopes of opening a deli shop. His brother changed his mind, so George Kukar had to come up with another plan. Lorraine Riddle was hired to run the kitchen while George Kukar entertained locals at the bar. Thus, Kukarís House of Pizza was born. Armed with a World War II army surplus oven, the two would continue working together over the next thirty-five years.
In the beginning, George Kukar worked at San Jose Steel during the day & the restaurant at night to pay the bills. After seven years, the restaurant was able to hold its own and Kukar's House of Pizza was here to stay.
In 1976, the City of San Jose wanted to expand Almaden Ave. onto the land where the House of Pizza was located. To keep the restaurant going, the building was moved 75 feet to accommodate the new street. It still held the address of 395 Almaden Ave.
In 1985, the future of Kukarís House of Pizza was threatened again to make way for the new San Jose Convention Center. A petition was signed by 14, 000 dedicated customers and a campaign was started to "Save the House of Pizza". Due in part of the outpouring of support, the restaurant was relocated two blocks south to its present location, 527 Almaden Ave
After 54 years as the owner & founder of Kukarís House of Pizza, George Kukar passed away in 2004 at the age of 87. He was very proud of his Native American heritage and was a registered Costanoan-California Mission Indian, evident by the Native American influenced decor scattered throughout the restaurant.
Today, House of Pizza continues to set the stage for a family business and carries on George's vision. Georgeís three daughters Joan, Sandy and Patty help with the restaurant. While his son, also named George handles the day to day business of the establishment.