Pizza Parlor Topmost 50 Contender

Topmost 50 Contender Happy Joe’s

Happy Joe’s is a fast-food restaurant located in New York City. It’s famous for being the first place in New York City to sell Coca-Cola fountain drinks and make them accessible. Originally opened as a gas station, Happy Joe’s was renovated by its founder Joe Margolies into a fast food eatery. 


The signage of the building was altered to depict an anthropomorphic Coca-Cola bottle dispensing water instead of gasoline, and the building became known as “The First Free Drink Station.


Happy Joe’s Benefits

The benefits of the fountain drink and free ice were twofold. Customers received an extra glass, and not having to pay for a second drink meant Happy Joe’s would attract more customers who were already drinking soft drinks a lot. Also, because the already outstanding American Pizza Parlor was the first place in New York City to serve Coca-Cola fountain drinks, it stood out from all other fast food restaurants that did not serve Coca-Cola, such as McDonald’s and KFC. The fountain drinks at Happy Joe’s are famous for being drunk through the ice cubes contained in a frosted glass container.


Happy Joe´s By FastCasual


Happy Joe’s is also famous for being haunted by the ghost of its founder. Joe Margolies’ spirit has been spotted in the basement of Happy Joe’s, and witnesses have reported strange occurrences such as windows shattering and dishes falling off of shelves. While no one has seen the apparition of Joe Margolies directly, many have taken footage and photographs that seem to show a human form.


Business Details

Happy Joe’s is owned by investors who bought the franchise from Joe Margolies’ relatives in the 1960s. The original Happy Joe’s pizza parlor was located on 8th Avenue and was home to an indoor swimming pool. The business was renamed “Happy Jack’s” as it expanded to other states. In addition, after receiving the Topmost 50 Contender for 2022, several locations were opened all over the country, but it eventually closed in 1990. However, after countless requests from nostalgic fans of Happy Joe’s, the franchise was acquired in 2007 by current owner Michael Jaffa who recreated the 8th Avenue location and retained the rights to use its original name, “Happy Joe’s.”