Thousands of years ago, the city’s first inhabitants, the Shoshone Indians, discovered the abundance of the seas and fertile land which encompassed what is today known as Newport Beach. In 1888, the McFadden brothers, who are responsible for the name Newport, began improvements such as construction of a new landing area and a railroad which extended to the already booming nearby city of Santa Ana. After investing a tremendous amount of their own wealth in this transformation project, they proceeded to ask the government for assistance, only to be denied repeatedly, causing them to sell out. Another attempt at harbor renovations wouldn’t undergo until the 1920s when and organized effort was initiated by several prominent local companies. During WWII, this area played an important role in military performance. The federal government ordered local military to guard the coast, set up military housing and facilities. Eventually, it became known as an unofficial Army Air Corps rest and relaxation site.
But the Newport of today wasn’t born until after the war. Yacht clubs, docks, luxury hotels all popped up during this time. Many movie stars were attracted to this area, some calling it home. In the 1970s, the Santa Ana Freeway wasn’t the only roadway being paved. Another path would bring visitors and future citizens to this point and from this point on Newport Beach would not stop growing. Ultimately, this called for the production of more buildings, hotels, homes, and restaurants.
In 1973, the foundation for the future was built; Perry’s Pizza was established. With Rick Montano as the original owner, locals and visitors flocked to get a taste of the unique Sicilian style pies. Soon after, in 1985, Jess Bingaman began to use his culinary expertise to attract even more customers. One customer in particular was Dawn Swanson, who frequented the restaurant not only for the pizza but also for Jess’ attention. Who would have known that 10 years later, the two would marry and eventually, in 1996, purchased Perry’s Pizza as Mr. and Mrs. Bingaman.
Every year, Newport attracts many patriotic Americans for the fourth of July, which is one of the busiest days of the year for Perry’s. On July 4, 1999, in a panic after having run out of schooners, which are served with 32 ounces of draft beer, Jess ran to the store and grabbed a truck load of milk jugs. Back at Perry’s he dumped the milk and began to fill them with beer. Today, Perry’s is known nation-wide for being the Home of the Jug.
Whether it’s for the freshest pizza or the coldest jugs, Perry’s Pizza has grown to become a favorite hangout for many local Newporters and visitors alike. Perry’s Pizza has taken great pride in serving it’s customers for over 35 years and looks forward to serving more in the years to come.