Stumped: Village Inn Pizza, Norfolk’s Janaf

Our memory of this place is totally gone. But apparently there was a Village Inn Pizza chain that had arcades. It was a big enough operation that individual franchises had their own game tokens. Here, a token from the Norfolk, Virginia location at the Janaf Shopping Center. We have it for sale on eBay; click on the picture to see if it is for sale. The pizza shop was apparently owned by Futterman Corp.

Janaf, or Joint Army Navy Air Force Shopping Center, was the main suburban shopping area for post World War II Norfolk.

The only thing we could find on it was that there are documents relating to modification of the pizza parlor at the Library of Virginia. It was store 18 at Janaf. The entry reads:

[Alterations to] Village Inn Pizza Parlor – Permit Number: 20379, Address: 18 Janaf Shopping Center, 1970 Box: 53 Control Number: : 788
Media: Diazo prints; Sheets: 5; Tag Number: 1970-002; Drawn by: Charles H. Thayer, Jr., Consulting Engineer, Six Tidewater Executive Center, Norfolk, VA; Contractor: W. A. Hall and Co., Inc.; Commissioned by: Futterman Corp.;

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  1. Lived a half mile from this Village Inn as a kid in the mid 70s. I remember some rudimentary games, more like carnival games than arcade machines but the place was mostly about the movies. They played old b/w serials like The Lone Ranger and Tarzan. It was a staple for birthday parties, but my friends and I didn’t like going, especially as we grew older. Black and White Lone Ranger just couldn’t compete with Star Wars.

  2. My father used to take us to the Village Inn after we went swimming at the Admralty Hotel swim club in the early 70’s. It was about the movies but the food was good. I was wondering if Jt was still open at JANAF.

  3. Having grown up in nearby Poplar Halls from 1959 to 1974, I remember much about these years at JANAF. The various department stores…JC Penneys, Rices, Ames and Brownleys plus the two large grocery stores…Colonial Stores and Giant Foods…later, A & P. Other stores I recall include: Peoples Drug Store and Fanny Farmer Candies, Arthurs Men’s Shop and Wimpies Restaurants all near the courtyard where the library is located. This is where for a number of Christmas’s they had a Santa Claus house as well.

  4. My Mom worked at Peoples drug store during the 60s-70s and I remember going to the movie theatre just a few doors down from Village inn. It always had the coldest A/C, and the pizza sauce was so peppery. I ate in there up until 1977 when I graduated High school and joined the Army. Great times.

  5. I have one of the janaf coins from norfolk va

  6. I use to work there in the 80’s when my husband was in the Navy. I loved the manager gary and of course our giraffe.

  7. I grew up near the Janaf Village Inn and went there regulary from the early to mid 80’s. Early on they had a handful of video games in the back, but as the video game craze raged they grew to a whole partioned off arcade taking up the back third of the restaurant. Loved that place, great pizza and great games. Saw Pac Man for the first time there. Later a Chuck E Cheese opened in the same Shopping Center and that must have killed it. Don’t remember when it closed..

  8. I used to love going there when stationed at NAS Norfolk in the ’70s. Lowenbrau on tap, pizza, and Buck Rogers movies.

  9. I remember it well. I lived in Poplar Halls from 1970 – 1974. My Mom would take me and my siblings there often, especially when my Dad was out at sea on cruises. Back then there weren’t a lot of pizza places around so it was great having one so close that showed movies. I also remember going to the library a lot and there was a Polynesian restaurant right near the library. We never ate there but it always smelled good walking by it.

  10. Village inn was great. The pizza fantastic. It’s where I learned to love sausage pizza. The movies were black and white shorts. On the weekends that had live music, no age limit. There was one group who played every weekend. The girl sounded just like Grace slick when she did White Rabbit. Great memories.

  11. That Polynesian restaurant was named BLUE HAWAII.

  12. I lived on military road in Chesapeake in the early 70’s and I remember the Village Inn pizza parlor well. Having come from a very small town in southwest Virginia I had never been to any kind of pizza place prior. I remember the pizza having a buttery taste and watching the old comedies. I also remember another chain called Shakies (misspelled) the employees had red and white aprons and they played music.

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