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After more than 30 years, Charlie’s Pizza is coming back to Sioux Falls

It has been more than 33 years since iconic Charlie’s Pizza House has served Sioux Falls diners – but not for long.

Oct. 4, 2021

It has been more than 33 years since iconic Charlie’s Pizza House has served Sioux Falls diners – but not for long.

The restaurant that has been dubbed the state’s best pizza is coming back to Sioux Falls.

It will be the second location for Chuck Rezac, who also owns the only remaining location in Yankton.

“We hope we bring back that same nostalgic,” Rezac said. “I would eat pizza all over the country and nothing every tasted the same as Charlie’s.”

Rezac is the fifth owner for the Yankton location, which was one of several originally owned by Charlie Chotto, who founded it in 1959.

Charlie’s Pizza House opened  in Sioux Falls at 2013 S. Minnesota Ave. before it moved to a larger space at 1810 S. Minnesota Ave. in 1960.

The last year it’s listed in a city directory is 1988, according to Siouxland Heritage Museums. That corresponds with a change in the drinking age, making it no longer legal for 19- and 20-year-olds, who made up a significant portion of the clientele at Charlie’s, which served low-alcohol beer.

For Rezac, who grew up in Yankton, Charlie’s “was always the place you went for birthdays and special occasions,” he said, adding it was the first thing he craved when he would come home from college in Colorado.

“There’s something about it that’s special,” he said.

In 2013, he became the owner of Chuck’s Stop in Yankton, a convenience store next to Charlie’s, and joked with the owner about buying it.

“I always said it was fitting because it’s my name,” he said. “I never thought he would sell it.”

He became the owner nearly six years ago and began thinking about additional locations.

“When Harrisburg plays Yankton, we get a lot of Harrisburg people,” he said. “And my sister used to live on the south end of (Sioux Falls), and I always thought that would be a good spot for this if we did it.”

When he learned the former Look’s Marketplace location at 69th Street and Western Avenue next to McNally’s Irish Pub was available, it fit the bill.

“We are in the process of building it out,” Rezac said. “I can basically start from scratch.”

The menu will be the same as Yankton, which includes build-your-own and signature pizzas, salads, garlic and cheese bread, and wings.

Charlie’s Pizza has been named the best pizza in the state by Food Network magazine. Its signature pizzas include the Festus, which includes pepper-jack covered meatballs, jalapeno and sauerkraut, and the Three Stooges, which is beef, bacon and cheddar cheese, topped with dill pickles.

“We do fresh dough every day. The dough recipe is different. The crust tastes different. We grind our own cheese. We use the freshest product we can,” Rezac said.

While he can’t bring the 60-year-old oven to Sioux Falls, he has spent a year seasoning hundreds of pans in it so the taste is the same.

He’d like to also offer lunch and delivery service but said it will depend on hiring. The Sioux Falls Charlie’s will offer beer and wine and seat about 120 people.

The hope is construction will be done by early next year for a February opening.

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