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South Dallas pizzeria founder passes away at 81

Blackjack Pizza quickly became known as a restaurant with classic, quick pies and pizza slices at reasonable prices.
Credit: Kevon Gee

DALLAS — The founder of a well-known Dallas pizzeria recently passed away in Oak Cliff, according to his family.

Texas native Frank E. Gee Jr. died at the age of 81. He founded Blackjack Pizza on 2536 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. with Terry Jones in 1990. 

Blackjack quickly became known as a restaurant with classic, quick pies and pizza slices at reasonable prices. The restaurant is also known for its quality hamburgers as well.

Before establishing Blackjack Pizza, now known as DJ Blackjack Pizza, it was once a soul food restaurant. After founding the pizzeria in South Dallas on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Gee Jr. also opened another location in Pleasant Grove on St. Augustine Rd.

Credit: Kevon Gee

In a Texas Metro News article from May 2022, the online publisher praised Blackjack Pizza and its importance to the community. In the piece, historian and educator Clarence E. Glover Jr. calls Blackjack as “one of the few remaining community sites" where African Americans comfortably gather.

Originally from Corsicana, Texas, Gee Jr. passed away Sept. 1, 2022, at the age of 81 in his Oak Cliff home.

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