Buddy’s Pizza Opens at Royal Oak’s Detroit Zoo


Buddy’s Pizza today opened its newest location inside Royal Oak’s Detroit Zoo. This is the Detroit-style pizza chain’s 13th location in Michigan.

The 5,200-square-foot restaurant’s main dining room features a picturesque view of the historic Horace H. Rackham Memorial Fountain, along with an outdoor patio and a rooftop terrace with the highest vantage point in the zoo.

The new location offers pizza by-the-slice, gluten-free pizza, antipasto salad, Buddy Brew, and a variety of Buddy’s original square pizzas.

“We’re proud to partner with Buddy’s and bring another classic and iconic hometown staple to our visitors,” says Ron Kagan, executive director and CEO for the Detroit Zoological Society. “This building is also yet another example of our commitment to environmental sustainability.”

Donated and recycled materials were incorporated into the restaurant, including tables and furnishings built from reclaimed wood found around the zoo that have been stamped with the location of their origin. Planks from a 100-year-old Michigan barn were repurposed as a ceiling feature, while old bowling alley flooring make up two counters. Other sustainable features integrated into the building include fretted glass windows to prevent bird strikes, and a 95-percent recycled rooftop terrace.

“Since 2011, Buddy’s has been the Proud Pizza Partner of the Detroit Zoo, which has included assisting with educational opportunities for students and special enrichment experiences with the animals,” says Wes Pikula, COO of Buddy’s Pizza. “Having an actual Buddy’s restaurant there is a natural expansion of that partnership, and we’re glad to be able to serve more families as they visit our cherished zoo.”

Buddy’s celebrated its opening by donating $1 for each of their signature Detroit Zoo pizzas purchased during September at its other locations to benefit the Detroit Zoological Society, which operates the Detroit Zoo. The nonprofit hosts more than 1.5 million visitors annually and has an annual regional economic impact of more than $100 million. The zoo houses 2,000 animals representing 230 species.

Buddy’s is family-owned and operated since 1946.