When Hideaway Pizza was founded in 1957 in a small brick house near the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, it was only the second pizzeria in Oklahoma. It was open only a few years before Stillwater native Richard Dermer and his wife, Marti, decided to buy the business and see if he could make a go of this new food craze called “pizza”.
Richard’s simple philosophy was that making employees happy at their work and providing a great pizza would make for happy workers
In the 60’s and 70’s, with happy customers filling the 12 tables in the tiny restaurant, Richard and Marti had a fleet of VW delivery Bugs racing over the streets of Stillwater. Originally decorated with the Hideaway pizza man logo, they evolved into colorful, eclectic designs with zebra stripes, polka dots, flowers and ladybugs, and became synonymous with Hideaway Pizza.
When the property on South Knoblock next to the Campus Theater became available in 1980, the Dermers tried to move the famous picture collage on the dining room wall, which had been created over the years. Unable to remove more than a quarter-sized piece at a time, Marti ended up creating a new collage wall at the new, bigger location.
In the ‘80s, Richard developed a love for kite flying and served as president of the American Kite Flyers Association, traveling with Marti all over the world as ambassadors of good will for kite lovers. Their personal collection of kites can be seen on the walls of the Stillwater restaurant, while colorful dragons and butterflies, clipper ships and spaceship kites hang in all our other locations to be enjoyed by young and old alike!
Richard’s “work hard and play hard” philosophy appears to be a winner, with the fun-loving staff providing the entertainment for customers over the years. The colorful tie-dyed uniform t-shirts the staff wore set the tone for contagious fun. Rock ‘n’ roll music, singing wait staff, streakers, dancing waiters, bagpipe players and other impromptu events made for a happy, irreverent atmosphere that gave Hideaway customers a comfortable place to have a beer, eat some great pizza and just relax.