Last week, this blog featured a photo taken just west of the intersection of Main and Court streets in Janesville.
The current photo was taken about a block away, just west of the intersection of Main and Milwaukee streets, circa 1966. The photo looks east up Milwaukee Street. The sign for Main Street is just visible in the lower left.
On the left side of the photo is the Knotty Pine Restaurant. Childhood friends Larry Gray and Winfred “Windy” Hansch opened the restaurant in 1948 in the adjoining building and moved to the site they occupied in this photo in 1953. The two friends also opened the Alpine, another popular downtown establishment.
On the right side of the photo is the Pizza Villa. Eugene “Gene” Marshall opened it in 1962 and introduced the first home-delivered pizza to Janesville, according to Marshall's obituary.
A 1964 ad in The Janesville Gazette announced that the company had 10 kinds of pizza that could be delivered “hot to your door.” The minimum order was $1.
Deliveries didn’t always go as planned.
A pizza delivery man suffered burns to his face and hands after a pizza oven exploded in a company car he was driving, according to a Feb. 11, 1976, Gazette story. Carl Hansen, 20, told police he was driving when an explosion inside the car forced him to jump out. The car, which was owned by Pizza Villa, continued across Milwaukee Street and hit the corner of the Quick Print Shop, 219 E. Milwaukee St.
A fire inspector told The Gazette that the restaurant had been warned several times about its method of keeping pizzas warm.
Other businesses in the photo are the Myers Theater in the Elks building. Across Parker Drive from the theater is The Janesville Gazette, still in its old building. Farther up the street is Harrison Chevrolet and Cadillac.