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Match to Flame 134

posted on December 9, 2020

The name Montoni’s came from a pizzeria in Kent that I frequented as a student at Kent State. The exterior appearance came from Frank’s Pizza, a pizzeria in nearby Oberlin that I remembered from some apartment hunting I’d done right out of college and that I later went back to for reference pictures. The inside initially was a rather generic setup with simply a pizza oven and a counter. Later on, I would add some video games and tables as needs arose. Montoni’s soon became a major set piece in Funky where events of consequence would take place. A pregnant teenaged Lisa went into labor there and was driven to the hospital by Tony Montoni in the Montoni’s pizza van. In fact, she was the first delivery that night (see what I did there?). Montoni’s also became the wedding chapel of love with numerous weddings taking place there, my favorite of which was when Les and Lisa got married on Halloween dressed as Batman and Robin. Montoni’s would continue to grow in both importance and size. In the late eighties, a friend of mine who was a musician introduced me to a pizza restaurant in Akron called Luigi’s. Musicians know all of the great places to eat, especially late at night, and Luigi’s was certainly that and more. They had an old jukebox you could play from the tables that was connected to a Chicago Coin music box over the front door, which had a curtain that would open to show a band playing to the music from the jukebox. Okay, that was too cool not to share, so I began taking our son Brian on a guys’ night out once a month where we would have some pizza and then visit a comic shop, followed by book and record stores in a noble attempt to inculcate Brian with a little culture.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 8