Of course, they wouldn't give it a name like Organ Stop for nothing! The front of the building has a large glass-paned diaphone chamber for the organ, but other than that it looks pretty normal from the outside. You'd never guess that inside is the largest Wurlitzer pipe organ in the entire world. That's right, world's largest Wurlitzer organ plus pizza in Mesa. Seems like a good combination to me.
So I headed out there the other weekend with a couple of friends. We found the place easy enough, and happened to arrive just in time for the first of the evening's two shows. The pizza counter and ice cream counter were brightly lit and bustling with people, mostly older folks and kids. We ordered a large cheese pizza, which came to $12 dollars.
The dining room darkened as the show began, and we ventured upstairs for seats as the lower level was completely packed with people. The organist began playing to much fanfare as he rose up from below the stage on an 8,000-lb hydraulic platform.
The console is a mighty instrument, finished in ebony black and decorated ornately with gold, silver, and copper leaf accents. The official website lists the complete history of the Wurlitzer organ, including its 1997 upgrade to four manuals with 276 keys and 798 stops and controls.
There are almost 6,000 pipes driven by four turbine compressors that move approximately 14,000 cubic feet of air per minute! The whole thing is cooled by a 5-ton air conditioning unit. There's so much more to this thing than meets the eye!
The combination of all these factors makes for a unique and impressive sound unlike anything else. When our pizza arrived, I have to say it wasn't anything phenomenal. It didn't fill me up, but in its defense the food was more than edible and fairly priced. It's safe to say that no one goes there for the pizza; they go there to hear the theme from the Little Mermaid banged out while racing lights illuminate the dining room like the Las Vegas strip.
The food may not be fantastic but the entertainment is top notch, which makes Organ Stop the best pizza gimmick in the Valley. In fact, the Phoenix New Times has already given Organ Stop that award. If you haven't gone to see what the fuss is all about, I would encourage you to make your next pizza stop an Organ Stop!