Dino’s Pizza was part of the flavor of Plymouth

PIZZA WAS NOT ALWAYS the ubiquitous staple food that it seems to be today.

That was especially true in meat-and-potatoes or German sausage and sauerkraut Sheboygan County and Plymouth more than half a century ago.

That’s when a recent Plymouth High School graduate, Dean Lambrecht, decided that he wanted to be a pizza maker and founded the Hub City’s first pizzeria, Dino’s Pizza.

It was a true leap for a young man who had no experience making pizzas and no examples to draw on locally. Through trial and error, discovering and utilizing the finest products of local cheesemakers, Lambrecht finally created his signature pizza along with a little pizzeria that quickly became a local fixture and gained renown far beyond the city limits.

As Dino discovered his touch for pizza-making it seemed the whole world was discovering pizza, with giant chains springing up around the country and the world, with franchises planting their flags seemingly everywhere – even here in the Cheese Capital of the World.

Yet through it all, as pizza places came and went, grew and shrank, Dino’s pizza – and subs – remained a popular favorite here in Plymouth.

The pizza business grew to a major industry, both in restaurants and groceries, as the Italian dish became a staple of many American diets and something that could be found just about everywhere.

Dino’s fans stayed loyal, no matter how widespread pizza became.

That’s because Dino’s never changed and the extras Lambrecht offered became more cherished and welcomed as pizza became a major industry.

Dino always had a greeting for each of his customers, offering the small-town ambience so missing in cookie-cutter pizza chain stores. There were little touches like free licorice or ice cream for his younger customers and political discussions, philosophical ramblings or just warm reminiscences with valued customers who were treated as friends.

All of that would not have been enough to keep Dino’s in business all those years, though.

The product lived up to the atmosphere and drew customers – and rave reviews – from throughout the Midwest, including a best of the best rating from Midwest Living magazine.

While the pizza business grew to gigantic proportions around him, Dino’s little cash-and-carry pizzeria on South Milwaukee Street, with it’s old-time feel and great food, remained true to Dean Lambrecht’s vision.

Lambrecht passed away a little over a week ago, after a period of illness, and a piece of Plymouth’s charm and history passed away with him.

Dino’s Pizza may continue in business, and the pizza and the subs may well continue to taste just as great, but a bit of the flavor and spice of Plymouth has left us.

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