Quad Cities-style pizza is now available in the area.

Knuckles Pizza opened its doors on Dec. 20 in the former Chef John’s Wine Bar & Grill building, located at 1719 W. Woodside Drive.


Quad Cities-style pizza is now available in the area.

Knuckles Pizza opened its doors on Dec. 20 in the former Chef John’s Wine Bar & Grill building, located at 1719 W. Woodside Drive.

Owners Tom and Mindy Moore, both from the Quad Cities area originally, opened the pizzeria after not being able to find the style of pizza in the Peoria area.

“When we came here, we always wished we could find that pizza here, but we couldn’t,” Mindy said. “So, every time we’d go back home we’d always bring a pizza back.”

After obtaining the recipe, the couple decided to jump into the restaurant business.

According to Mindy, Quad Cities-style pizza is a special recipe from other pizzas normally found.

“The dough is made in house,” she said. “It’s all from scratch. The sauce is made here. The sausage is really one of the signature things about Quad City-style pizza. It’s also made from scratch here. It’s just a special blend of seasonings.

“The crust is sort of a little thin in the middle and has a nice rim around it.”

Tom added that the cheese is also blended in-house.

The pizzas are also cut into strips, instead of the traditional triangle cut.

Since opening, Mindy said that the sausage pizza is a big hit, especially for people that are from the Quad Cities.

The Hawaiian and BBQ chicken pizzas have also been selling well.

Currently, the restaurant is 4-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

Since opening, the pair said the community has been very responsive and supportive of the business.

“It’s a lot of fun to be at the counter and meet the neighborhood folks that are coming in,” Mindy said.

She added that she has found out restaurant business “is hard work,” as “You have to be focused and diligent and on top of things.”

Getting the name

The name, Tom said, comes from a scene in “Field of Dreams” where Knuckles knocked down Moonlight Graham with a pitch after Graham winked at him.

“The guys on the bench are going, ‘Hey Knuckles, why are you throwing at the kid?’ and Knuckles goes, ‘He winked at me,’” Tom said. “I love baseball. I love sports, but particularly baseball, it’s close to my heart. That scene right there, I just die laughing every time I saw it. I love that character, Knuckles.”

Mindy added that, after they figured out what to call the pizzeria, it was fun “to sit down and think of all the different things that Knuckles relates to.”

An ever-evolving menu

Currently, the menu only offers pizza, but they plan to offer Pizza Knuckles, which are knotted breadsticks, and wings in the next week or two.

“(The menu) will ever be evolving,” Tom said.

Sandwich ideas are also being thought of.

All the food will be made in the special oven that Mindy called indicative of the style of pizza.

“It’s a large rotating oven,” she said.

The oven has multiple shelves that rotates around to give everything cooked in it an even time around the heat.

Renovations underway

As of this writing, the pizza is only available as a carry-out. The dining room is hoped to be completed within a month. After the dining room opens, the Moore’s expect to start opening for lunch during the week.

“We’ve had a lot of people stop in at lunch,” Mindy said. “We feel like that will be a big draw because of CAT down there not that far away.”

After the dining room opens, a sports bar, decorated with sports memorabilia Tom has, is planned to be finished, although there is currently not an exact timeframe for it.

Tom said after the sports bar opens, they plan on having live entertainment twice a month.

“We’ll be applying shortly for our liquor license,” Tom said. “This is all kind of in phases, but in phase two, with the opening of the dining area, we’ll have beer and wine. Then, when the bar is open, it will be a full liquor license.”

Another item that will be added soon is a sign out front. The old sign, a banner, got ruined by wind last year.

A family affair

Besides Tom and Mindy, all of their children that live in the area help out at the restaurant as well.

“It takes all the efforts of all of us to get the job done,” Tom said.

Mindy said their 25-year-old son helps out around the restaurant and that their two teenage daughters “have a lot of fun helping make dough and helping at the counter.”

Opening the week before Christmas, Tom said that Knuckles “is where we spent Christmas together.”