Mystic, Connecticut was a relatively sleepy New England town until Hollywood’s attention turned to their local pizza shop, Mystic Pizza.
Opened in 1973 by the Zelepos family, the corner pizza joint enjoyed decades of success in their titular town thanks to their “secret sauce.” However, business exploded after screenwriter Amy Jones, who had spent the summer in Mystic, used the restaurant as the setting for her latest screenplay. The resulting film, Mystic Pizza, was released in 1988 and not only shared a title with the Zelepos’ business, but also told the story of three fictional women working at the restaurant. The coming-of-age story received critical acclaim and gathered enough attention that the original Mystic Pizza soon had to deal with lines around the block.
The movie proved so successful for the restaurant that they were not only able to open a second location, but Mystic Pizza also now sells frozen pizzas in grocery stores around America. Fans of the film still flock to the restaurant to take pictures at the backdrop of one their favorite romantic comedies. Not bad for a local pizzeria that simply happened to catch a writer’s eye.