Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vanished Rochester: DeLisa's

In 1942, the area immediately north of Tienken and Rochester roads was "out in the country." National Twist Drill had only recently moved to the area from Detroit, and the rest of the Township of Avon that lay directly north of the village limits was still rural in character. Today, a wealth of dining and entertainment options are available at that very corner, but in 1942, Floyd L. and Oliver Relyea were the first on the scene.

On July 2, 1942, the Rochester Clarion announced that the Relyeas were about to open a new dining and dancing hall called Relyea Acres at 6980 N. Rochester Rd. Nine years later, in 1951, John DeLisa took over the business and changed its name to DeLisa's Restaurant. DeLisa's specialized in pizza pies, a fast-food delicacy that was just beginning to gain popularity in the United States at that time.

DeLisa's closed in September of 1968 and the restaurant building was torn down the following year to make way for the construction of a gas station.

The advertisement shown here is one that appeared in the Rochester Clarion in 1955.


  1. DeLisa's restaurant didn't close permanently, it relocated to a new building just around the corner on Tienken to the building now occupied by Lino's restaurant. They had a live band and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. When the DeLisa's retired, their restaurant changed names several times and once was known as Carmen's during the disco days with a lighted dance floor.

  2. We had DeLisa's pizza nearly every Friday night for years!

  3. My Mom and Dad lived in the apartment above the restaurant sometime after he came back from the navy in 1946. And then in 1955 they bought a home in North Hill subdivision, it had to be the first pizza I ever ate.

  4. I worked at DeLisa's making pizzas in the fall of 1972. They were nice people to work for.