Our story begins in the late 1940’s in Washington, DC, at a place called “The Cavalier Restaurant,” located on 14th street. It was owned by the Portner family who began one of the first pizza operations in Washington, DC. Customers who have been following the pizza since the 1940’s tell of how common it was to see lines down the street for hours at a time, just to get a chance to try the famous Cavalier Pizza. The restaurant thrived until the 1960’s when it was moved to Montgomery County and found its new home in Rockville, in the Twinbrook Shopping Center. The Portners maintained ownership until 1970, at which time Jim Hance and the Hance Family took over the reins.
In 1970, the Restaurants name was changed to “Gentleman Jim’s”, named after Jim Hance and the 1890’s boxing champ, Gentleman Jim Corbett. The high quality and unique flavor of the “Cavalier Pizza” was kept exactly the same. Chef Pete who cooked for the Portners at the Cavalier,is still a full time chef at Gentleman Jim’s in Gaithersburg.
In 1990, Gentleman Jim’s opened its second location in Gaithersburg, MD. (Featured here) The Hance Family, now in the third generation, carries on the traditions set by the “Cavalier Restaurant” almost 70 years ago