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This Haus has a simple recipe for longevity

August 01, 2004

Jimmy Stroup

As the longest standing resident of the shopping center on the

northwest corner of Harbor Boulevard and Adams Avenue, Doria's

Original Haus of Pizza has remained the sole figure of stability in a

complex that has seen many facades in its history.

Opened in 1974 in Long Beach, Doria's Original "House" of Pizza

was quickly changed to "Haus" at the suggestion of a customer, noting

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owner Hilde Doria's German ancestry. It was not the last adjustment,

as the City of Long Beach was to change the course of the little

Italian restaurant forever.

"They decided to build a mall there," said manager and family

member Rick Doria. "Eminent domain. So away we go."

Not to be ruined by fate, owner Ted Doria moved his restaurant to

the Adams Avenue shopping center in January 1981. The menu he wrote

says the move was the "best thing that ever happened to us in

business."

Since then, the restaurant has done little in the way of change.

Even the decorations on the wall remain from its early days. "It's

looked like this for 23 years," Rick Doria said. "Oh, the sign's

different because they remodeled the building."

Rick Doria said he supposes the ever-steady feeling of the

restaurant is appealing to regular customers, a group that he figures

is 95% of the restaurant's business.

"Unless you're one of these trendy, upbeat,

trying-to-keep-up-with-the-

trick-of-the-week [people] -- here it is, just the same old

nonsense on the walls," he said.

Haus customers come from near and far to sample the usual

delights. Jennifer Smith, 33, recently stopped by from Newport Beach

to pick up some lasagna for her and her boyfriend.

"I've got the Spaghetti Vendor and Antonucci's [near me] and I

came all the way over here," she said.

A frequent customer over the past several years, Matt Finch of

Costa Mesa has visited because of the prices and the high quality

food.

"It's probably the best pastas and Italian food in Orange County

for a decent price," he said.

More than anything, Rick Doria said he attributes the lasting

success of the Haus of Pizza to the simple things Doria's has to

offer.

"Good food, fair prices, well run and friendly service," he said.

Doria's Original Haus of Pizza is located at 1500 Adams Ave., Costa Mesa, is open seven days a week, and can be reached at (714)

751-8777.

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