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Hideaway Pizza enjoys its half-a-century history

By Jennifer Palmer Modified: July 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm •  Published: April 1, 2009

Hideaway Pizza has maintained its cool for more than 50 years.

The pizza restaurant is just as famous for its atmosphere, with colorful decor and often colorful employees, as it is for its pizza. So how has the restaurant, which first opened in Stillwater 52 years ago, moved gracefully into the future?

Maybe it's the creativity.

"We have eccentric-looking employees,” said Janie Harris, Hideaway’s marketing director. "It has helped our customer base see through their own prejudices.”

It’s not uncommon to have a waiter with an unnatural color of hair, or see a tattooed cook flipping pizza dough in the kitchen.

"We hire people who have outgoing personalities,” said Darren Lister, co-owner of Hideaway 2 — which includes all the stores but the original.

That business practice has helped reduce turnover, he said, because employees like to work "where they’re accepted.”

But the company also encourages its patrons to be creative, through its collage project, a 50th anniversary T-shirt design contest and other ventures.

It’s no surprise, then, that the notoriously hip restaurant chain is now on Twitter.

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