Best of Dayton: Marion’s Piazza remains pizza champion during year of change

Marion’s Piazza was recognized as the Best Pizza Restaurant, Best Restaurant to Take an Out-of-Towner and the restaurant that has the Best Square-Cut Pizza in this year’s Best of Dayton contest.

The results come nearly two months after Marion’s Piazza President and CEO Roger Glass passed away. Glass died at age 79 on Aug. 24.

“During his five decades of service to Marion’s Piazza and sixteen years as President and CEO, Roger led the company to be named “Dayton’s #1 Pizza” for thirty-five years and rank first in the nation of independent pizza establishments by Pizza Today Magazine for five years,” Glass’ obituary said. talked with Glass in early August ahead of the Best of Dayton contest.

“It’s always an honor and we feel very privileged to win like we do,” Glass said.

He said his employees take a lot of pride in being nominated as the Best Pizza Restaurant in the Dayton area.

“I know our employees look forward to it every year and they take a lot of pride in winning,” Glass said. “Those kids work hard and without our loyal employees we wouldn’t be where we are. I just think so many people know about this (contest) and look forward to (it). I know I do.”

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Marion’s Piazza has been recognized as having the Best Square-Cut Pizza every contest since 2018, when the category was added.

In September, we asked our readers to share what they thought Dayton’s signature food was. Square-cut pizza overwhelming came out on top and more than half of those who responded said Marion’s Piazza was their top spot to take out-of-towners for square-cut pizza.

The restaurant has also been named Best Restaurant to Take an Out-of-Towner and Best Restaurant for a Large Group in previous Best of Dayton contests. Marion’s Piazza has taken home Best Pizza Restaurant in six of the seven Best of Dayton contests.

Glass previously credited their consistency as one of the reasons they have won year after year.

“We’re just thrilled and very honored to win when we do.” he said. “We’ve been in business for 57 years and we have a lot of loyal customers. We’re very thankful for them because without them we wouldn’t be around.”

Glass was a second-generation owner of Marion’s Piazza. His father, Marion Glass, founded the restaurant in 1965. The restaurant, located at 460 Patterson Road in Dayton, sat over 200 customers in the dining room. This was a first for pizza establishments in the area because all the others offered carryout service with no inside dining.

Today the business has restaurants in north and south Dayton, the Dayton Mall area, Centerville, Beavercreek, Kettering, Englewood, Troy and Mason.

Carol Glass Pollock, Glass’ sister, confirmed “it’s business as usual” at her family’s restaurants after the death of Glass.

Glass was also known for philanthropy, with the most visible examples of his generosity at the University of Dayton and Chaminade Julienne High School. In November 2021, the University of Dayton announced that the $45 million Roger Glass Center for the Arts would open in the 2023-2024 school year. A stadium at Chaminade Julienne is also named after Glass.

According to his obituary, Glass chaired and served on various boards, both charitable and professional, including Dayton Art Institute, Equitas, Stivers School for the Arts, and the Human Race Theatre Company, among others.

Pollock said her family is very grateful to the community of Dayton.

“We care about our product,” she said. “We care about our employees, and we care about serving Dayton.”

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