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The modest, unassuming building at 8111 Olive Blvd. in University City, with its brick facade and old-school signs, may not have a ton of traditional curb appeal, but it houses a culinary legacy that began during the Eisenhower administration.

The story begins in 1956 when brothers Frank and Jules Sitz decided to open a restaurant at Midland and Olive boulevards in University City. Jules eventually sold his share of the business to Frank, who called the eatery, simply, Frank’s. He soon brought his wife, Betty, into the fold along with his sister, Helen Wentzelman. Helen brought her garlic dressing recipe (which is still on the menu) and her name to the venture, and Frank & Helen’s Pizzeria was born.

The dining room at Frank & Helen’s pizzeria // photo by David Kovaluk