SKATE AND SURF INSPIRED INTERIOR AT BELMAR’S DON’S PIZZA KING

There aren’t too many places left like Don’s Pizza King in Belmar. Opened back in 1967 by Don and Barbara Iglay, the place still runs like an old diesel engine. The same vintage sign hangs off the corner of the building. The inside is much like I remember it when I was stomping here as a kid from next door Avon. Don’s is pretty much a time capsule. Not easy to find these days. And a refreshing alternative to the homogenized, fake bullshit you see popping up on every corner.

Don’s Pizza King has soul, simply put. And a lot of blood, sweat and tears from many years of serving the community.

But in recent years another member of the Iglay family has helped reinvent The Pizza King. Russ Iglay, a former member of hardcore band Murphy’s Law and bassist for Underdog, has definitely made his mark here. Vintage skateboards, surfboards and band t-shirts line the walls. The pinball machine, a staple of Don’s, is always on and ready to play. And the pizza is hot as usual.

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DSC_1558Russ Iglay of Don’s Pizza outside a mural by Porkchop

Asbury Park artist Porkchop, a friend of Iglay’s, also calls Don’s Pizza home. “I’ve known Russ for so long and always eat at the Pizza King when I’m passing through Belmar. It’s just a cool spot where the locals hang, ” he tells us.

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But Porkchop doesn’t just eat at Don’s; much of his artwork adorns the walls both inside and out. He recently painted waves in the entrance outside which makes you feel like you’re walking straight through a barrel. Last summer he painted some tiki gods on the corner of the building just under the sign. And on the other side of the building are some black and white flowers that were also recently completed.

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Inside, Japanese style waves adorn the doors leading into the kitchen with a few anchors, nautical stars and tropical flowers above those. It’s a nice dynamic between the vintage, untouched vibe of Don’s and the mix of artwork. The Pizza King has always catered to the local surf and skate scene as well as local fisherman so the murals are a perfect compliment.

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Like I said before, Don’s is all about the local community. Surfers come in for a bite after a surf session and guys from the Ocean Explorer, a fishing boat out of the Belmar Marina, often stop by for bar pies before heading out to sea.

But Don’s isn’t just about cheese pizza. They are trying to get the word out to the vegan and vegetarian community about their veggie and gluten free pies. Plus they have the usual like their cheese steaks, Buffalo wings and homemade soups among other things.

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And you’ll always see local musicians hanging at Don’s. Tim from Predator Dub Assassins, Joe from Inpsector 7, Pat Roddy, etc. Speaking of music, Russ’ other group HUGE (he sings vocals) just released a 7” record which you can buy at the shop.

Don’s Pizza King is located on the corner of 9th Ave. and Pyanoe Plaza on Main Street and Belmar.

Photos by Jason Thomson

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