EVERETT — It was a last hurrah at the Silver Lake Alfy’s.
Lifelong Everett resident Parker Zenier was surrounded by his pals, sharing pizza and wine, at a table full of childhood memories.
After 29 years of business, Dec. 17 was the locally beloved pizzeria’s final day. The Alfy’s, along with the nearby Skate Deck, will soon be demolished and replaced with 88 townhomes.
Decades ago, the chain stretched all the way to Auburn. But through the years, locations have shuttered — most recently, in Lynnwood, Smokey Point and Stanwood. And the Alfy’s on Broadway in Everett has sat empty since May.
But fret not, sentimental pizza lovers.
“It’s definitely not a trend of a sign that we’re going anywhere,” owner Blake Olson said of the Silver Lake closure.
Broadway should be back up and running before the Everett Aquasox’s Opening Day in 2022. Other locations in Snohomish County — in north Everett and Granite Falls — are slated to get a facelift.
It’s good news for Zenier and his friends, who recall countless birthday parties and Little League award ceremonies at the family-friendly joint.
They described Alfy’s as “nostalgic.”
“A dad’s cheap choice.”
They always loved the game consoles, grease-covered controllers and all.
“It’s part of the experience,” Zenier said.
Blake Olson said the community’s response to the closure has been touching, even emotional, as staff says farewell to regulars.
News made it to Reddit earlier this month.
“This is a shot right in the childhood,” one user lamented.
Alfy’s has been around since the ’70s, back when the current ownership’s grandparents decided to get into the pizza business. The venture was successful, as evidenced by the now-$5 million Everett home the family helped build out.
As for the Silver Lake location, Blake Olson said, “we’re trying the best we can to get by with the locations we have.”
“It just seemed like time to sell that one,” he added.
Fifteen minutes north on Broadway, Blake said the restaurant just couldn’t find enough employees during the pandemic.
They’re still looking to hire cooks, delivery drivers and cashiers.
The Marysville, Monroe, Granite Falls and Oak Harbor locations are still slinging dough. But pizza party planners in Everett now have but one Alfy’s to turn to in town: Alfy’s on Evergreen. The store’s delivery service has been expanding into Silver Lake and Broadway’s old territory.
Owner Bruce Olson (grandson of the founder who was also named Bruce, son of Brian, nephew of Brett, cousin of Blake and dad of a smaller Bruce), runs that store independently, ever since the Alfy’s were split up in 2012. Same name, same family history, separate company.
More and more locals are getting privy to that, Bruce said.
“Since day one, instead of worrying about what they’re doing, we’ve just kept our own direction,” he said.
Bruce and Brian, both working out of the Evergreen Alfy’s, said they didn’t know why Silver Lake and Broadway closed their doors. They don’t talk business with the Olsons who run the other Alfy’s stores.
Bruce boasts that his restaurant still makes its own sauce on-site, and uses the original “commissary” that used to service all the Alfy’s in town.
It’s “very old school,” Brian said. And it’s the oldest Alfy’s location.
Blake sees it differently. He considers the Broadway store the oldest, even though it moved down the street after the Evergreen shop’s founding. His Alfy’s are “still the true Alfy’s that everyone’s come to know,” he said.
Either way, Alfy’s pizza has become a Snohomish County icon. Bruce, Brian and Blake say the name isn’t going anywhere.
On Friday, Zenier’s gang, now grown, said they’ll likely hit the other locations to get their ’za fix.
Now grown, the gang has swapped T-ball for fantasy football. They poke fun at Vincent Le, this season’s loser who will soon get a bad tattoo of his friend’s choosing — Mickey Mouse, this year — per league rules.
“If I’m a coach one day,” Zenier said, “I’d bring my team to Alfy’s.”