When Bamie’s Pizza went out of business in 1986, the Des Moines, Iowa, community lost one of its most iconic restaurants. It was a pizzeria that once landed a “four slices” rating—the highest possible honor—from the Des Moines Register’s food critic but was forced to shutter when the city expanded its airport.

Founder, owner and operator of the shop Frank Bonanno passed away in 1993 after years of dealing with heart issues, seemingly suspending any hope of his beloved pizzeria rising from the ashes.

Except his descendants had other ideas. For decades, the family kept Bonanno’s recipes and cooking methods close to the vest, perhaps knowing they may one day come in handy. In November, it was announced that Bamie’s Pizza would be returning to Des Moines as a pop-up at Gusto Pizza Bar, thanks to Ron Bonanno—one of Frank’s sons—and his wife, Ann.

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The pop-up lasted 13 days and was a rousing success, reports Axios Des Moines. Tony Lemmo, co-owner of Gusto, told the publication that the response to the pop-up was “chaotic and beautiful,” and that the shop sold more than 3,200 of Bamie’s pizzas in the 13-day time period. For those scoring at home, that’s about 250 pizzas per day.

A flier depicting Bamie's Pizza pop-up at Gusto Pizza Bar, showing a menu and pricing.

The pop-up proved that Iowans not only had never forgotten Bamie’s, but that they also couldn’t get enough of it. Which is why Bamie’s Pizza will now be a weekly pop-up at Gusto Pizza Bar, with patrons able to get the legendary pies every Thursday. Pies served include Bamie’s Pizza originals like the Southside Leroy Brown (red sauce, mozzarella, Bamie’s sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, roasted red peppers); The Jackson Street (red sauce, mozzarella, Bamie’s Sausage, mushrooms); All Shook Up (red sauce, mozzarella, yellow onions, mushrooms, roasted red peppers); and last but not least, perhaps the shop’s signature item, Colleen’s Coke’s Favorite (red sauce, mozzarella and yellow onions). Colleen, who went by “Coke,” was Frank’s wife, the matriarch of the family and helped run Bamie’s Pizza.

In order to continue safeguarding the family recipes, reports Axios Des Moines, family members portion out ingredients to be mixed and cooked by Gusto staffers. “Gusto’s staff still doesn’t know Bamie’s recipes,” the publication wrote.

A Bamie's Pizza original pie.

Bamie’s Pizza was founded in 1963 by Bonanno, making it one of the earliest pizzerias in operation in Des Moines, if not Iowa at large. It quickly established a reputation for having great food and an unusual atmosphere. A 1980s television news story depicts the “antics” Bonnano used to get into, like posing as a firefighter who would blow a fire extinguisher into the direction of guests who were eating, or walking through the restaurant poorly playing an old trombone.

While you may not get the whole experience at Gusto Pizza Bar on a Thursday night—it doesn’t appear any firefighters are trying to extinguish patrons as they dine—perhaps the pizza will give Des Moines locals the nostalgia they’re looking for. At the very least, some secret family recipes are being put to good use.