Longtime Twin Cities pizza chain mourning after death of founder

Earl “Red” Schoenheider was 82.

The Twin Cities pizza scene has lost one of its biggest titans. 

On Tuesday afternoon, Red's Savoy Pizza announced "with extreme sadness" that its founder, Earl “Red” Schoenheider, had passed away. 

"Red proudly built a legacy of incredible pizza, employing thousands over 5 decades and truly loved Saint Paul," the Facebook post reads. "He will be missed dearly." 

Schoenheider opened his first pizzeria on the east side of St. Paul in 1965. The Red's Savoy name would eventually become "legendary throughout the Midwest," the pizza chain's website says, thanks to a "spicy secret-recipe sauce" and the "old-school atmosphere" of Schoenheider's restaurants. 

There are now 15 Red's Savoy Pizza locations throughout the Twin Cities.

As of this writing, the restaurant's Facebook announcement has garnered over 250 comments, with many users offering condolences and sharing memories of "Red" and his pizza.

The page doesn't offer any information about the cause of death, but the Pioneer Press says the 82-year-old died Monday after a "brief illness."

The paper notes that Schoenheider was known for working "seven days a week, 365 days a year," and had started his career as a bouncer and bartender at the Savoy Inn – which, as you can probably guess, he eventually bought and turned into a pizza empire. 

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