DAYTON MYTH BUSTERS: Is Pizza Factory pizza the same as South Park Tavern pizza?

Look at that melty cheese! Chicken Cordon Bleu gourmet pizza is made by scratch and baked in a stone oven at South Park Tavern. (Staff photo by Connie Post)
Look at that melty cheese! Chicken Cordon Bleu gourmet pizza is made by scratch and baked in a stone oven at South Park Tavern. (Staff photo by Connie Post)

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

As a newcomer to the South Park neighborhood, eager suggestions from neighbors of the best foodie stops within walking distance came at me before I was even settled in. Of course, one of the first recommendations was the tiny pizza joint down the road.

This is when I discovered I now lived near not just one rave-worthy local pizza dive, Dayton's Original Pizza Factory, but also a little bit larger sit-down pizzeria, South Park Tavern, just a few blocks away.

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With my new-found neighborhood pizza pride, I’ve had to put on my pizza detective hat to unravel some mild South Park confusion.

PIZZA THEORIES

Fellow fans of both Factory and Tavern have shared conflicting “facts” about the connections between the two pizza shops.

Some argued both sold the same pizza recipe using the same ingredients.

Others were certain the South Park district was just that lucky to have two distinct and tasty go-to pizza stops, and the two had nothing to do with each other.

One experience with Factory’s Seafood Blanc pizza and I thought I had found my go-to... until I sank my teeth into my first Tavern Chicken Cordon Bleu pizza.

As it turns out, the two gems have the same roots, and even the same dough. However, the recipe and pizza chefs are different. But that’s only as of recently.

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Bill Daniels, owner and president of the Pizza Factory on Wayne Avenue.
Bill Daniels, owner and president of the Pizza Factory on Wayne Avenue.

Credit: JAN UNDERWOOD

Credit: JAN UNDERWOOD

PIZZA FACTS

Bill Daniels, co-founder and president of Dayton’s Original Pizza Factory, confirmed the Factory does supply the Tavern with its dough. The foundation of each pizza tossed in the neighborhood is, in fact, spun and kneaded inside Daniels’ shop.

However, the history between the two establishments is baked deeper than just the dough’s thick, crispy crust.

Since 2007 and until selling the Tavern to new owners in February 2017, Daniels owned and operated both shops.

MYSTERY SOLVED

“Just the pizza dough. That’s all we make for them,” Daniels said. “They’re obviously free to do whatever they want on top of it. That’s the beauty of pizza. It’s like having a canvas you can do whatever you want to.”

DO YOU HAVE A DAYTON MYTH YOU WANT US TO INVESTIGATE? Contact this reporter at sarah.franks@coxinc.com.