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Pinocchio’s Italian Restaurant to reopen after 20 years on Campus Corner

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Pinocchio's Logo

Pinocchio’s Italian Restaurant is reopening on Campus Corner in late 2022 after being closed since 2001. 

The restaurant originally opened in 1972 in Stubbeman Village by Glen Woods, serving breadsticks, pizza, spaghetti and salads. Woods closed the restaurant in 2001 when he realized he wanted to pursue a teaching career in music. He graduated from OU in 1969 with a degree in music education, according to The Oklahoman

Norman local Michael Nash is partnering with Woods in reopening at a new location. Nash said he was ordering breadsticks from a local pizza place in Norman when he realized he missed Pinocchio’s breadsticks. 

“I got online to see where the closest Pinocchio’s was, and that’s when I found out it wasn’t a franchise,” Nash said. “I came across an article that did an interview with Glen Woods … and I showed up at his doorstep and asked if he wanted to bring Pinocchio’s back to Norman.” 

After considering Nash’s proposal, Woods said yes. Nash said they hope to have the restaurant open by OU’s first home football game in September. 

“We’re going to decorate the inside of it like (the original) Pinocchio’s, but we want to tweak it a little bit,” Nash said. “We want to celebrate Norman’s history and Pinocchio’s being a part of that history.” 

The majority of the restaurant’s customer base is anticipated to be native Normanites, although Nash said the addition of students to the base will be a perk. Additionally, the menu’s staples will be staying the same with little changes to other dishes offered. 

“We're going to tone down the variety a little bit at the beginning,” Nash said. “We don't want to be too diverse with the menu unless there's a demand for it. If anybody's missing a particular item, all they have to do is make a request and let us know. We'll bring it back.” 

Pinocchio’s will reopen at 325 White St. in September at the former Victoria’s Pasta Shop location. 

Nash said Pinocchio’s legacy is still alive in Norman. 

“Twenty years after Pinocchio’s closed its doors, people still have fond and passionate memories about the food,” Nash said. “In fact, you can get on Facebook and you’ll see people posting about Pinocchio’s breadsticks. There’s hundreds of these posts, and hundreds of comments and likes. … Sentiment is shared across Norman.”

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