Regular Jon’s Pizza from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”Dec 9th, 2014 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
Fellow stalker Chas, of the It’sFilmedThere website, recently texted me to let me know he had tracked down a location that I had been curious about for what seemed like forever – the pizza parlor from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Thanks to John Hughes’ DVD commentary of the flick, I knew that the restaurant was once in Brentwood and was no longer in operation, but I still desperately wanted to find its former location. So I was thrilled to receive Chas’ text and ran right out to stalk the site last week while I was in L.A.
As it turns out, the pizzeria that made an appearance in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was Regular Jon’s, formerly located at 11645 San Vicente Boulevard. The eatery was originally founded by Jon Persoff in 1971 and was a Brentwood landmark for the twenty years that it was in operation. Sadly, when Persoff’s lease expired in 1991, the landlord raised his rent considerably causing Jon to close up shop, much to the chagrin of the restaurant’s many regulars. After Jon’s was shuttered, the space was completely gutted and turned into a Louise’s Trattoria. When Louise’s closed, Yuzu Sushi Roll House & Sake Bar moved in. Today, the site houses an organic eatery known as the Coral Tree Café. Unfortunately, it looks completely different in its current state than it did when Regular Jon’s was still in operation.
The good news is that Regular Jon’s has a sister location, which Chas also informed me of. When Persoff passed away on September 25th, 2010, a former regular and one-time employee named Steven Goldberg decided to make a pizza in the former Regular Jon’s-style in his honor. He spent weeks trying to replicate the thin crust recipe that generations of Brentwoodians had fallen in love with over four decades prior. He finally nailed it and posted a comment about his endeavor on his Facebook page. Soon friends were clamoring for him to make them a Regular Jon’s pizza and an idea took hold – Steve would establish his own replica pizzeria. He opened the new eatery, which he dubbed “Steve’s Un-Original Pizza,” in November 2013 inside of the MB2 Raceway at 1475 Lawrence Drive in Thousand Oaks. I ventured out to stalk the place last week and had the pleasure of meeting Steve. He could NOT have been nicer. In fact, when I showed up to the parlor, it was not yet open for the day. Figuring my chances were slim to none, but being that I had just driven an hour and a half, I decided to call the number on the website to ask if there was anyway I could come inside to snap some pics. And what do you know, he invited me right in!
Steve designed his pizzeria to be reminiscent of Regular Jon’s, with dark wood paneling and an old school brown and yellow menu board.
He also has numerous photographs of his yearly childhood birthday parties, which all took place at Regular Jon’s, as well as a panoramic screen capture from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on display. I absolutely loved seeing it all! You can check out some more of Steve’s old photographs on his Facebook page here.
Steve answered all of my silly little questions about the filming of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and filled me in on Regular Jon’s history. While I was under the assumption that the Jon’s building had been torn down after the site closed in 1991, Steve informed me that was not the case. He said that the Jon’s property originally consisted of a thin, one-story, rectangular building with a large L-shaped parking lot. That original rendering is denoted with a pink arrow in the Historic Aerials image below.
In the early ‘80s, Jon expanded the eatery by adding a second, larger attached rectangular building that was constructed in the side portion of the parking lot. The two-part structure remains standing today, but due to the many changes in ownership and subsequent remodels, it, unfortunately, looks nothing like it did when Jon’s was in operation.
In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Regular Jon’s is where principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) goes in the hopes of catching Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) cutting school. While an exterior of the pizzeria is not shown in the movie, the spot where Rooney parks his car before heading inside Jon’s is actually located just outside of Chicago, where FBDO is set. Rooney parks where Chestnut Street intersects with Chestnut Court in Winnetka.
Quite a bit of Regular Jon’s is shown in the movie, including the order counter . . .
. . . and the eating area and small arcade –
– where Rooney has an unfortunate encounter with a straw full of soda. “Le jeux son faits!”
Regular Jon’s also appeared in a couple of other productions. In 1978, it was the spot where Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) searched for clues while looking for Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) in the Season 2 episode of Dallas titled “Kidnapped.”
That same year, the pizzeria was featured in the pilot episode of the television series The Paper Chase as the restaurant where Harvard Law School student James T. Hart (James Stephens) worked. For subsequent episodes of the series, a different location was used as James’ workplace.
You can watch all of The Paper Chase scenes shot at Regular Jon’s by clicking below.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Regular Jon’s, from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, was formerly located at 11645 San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood. The space now houses the Coral Tree Café. Steve’s Un-Original Pizza can be found at 1475 Lawrence Drive, inside of the MB2 Raceway, in Thousand Oaks. You can visit Steve’s official website here.