WIN: New Owner Values Historic Pizzeria Uno and Due Buildings

“The man who expanded Chicago restaurant Pizzeria Uno into a national chain has sold the River North buildings that house the original location and its sister spot, Pizzeria Due, back to the company for $2.3 million and $4.2 million.

“The plan is to keep the buildings unchanged—except for a few cosmetic changes—and let the restaurants continue slinging deep-dish pizzas as they have for the better part of a century, said CEO Erik Frederick.

“Investment firm Newport Global Advisors, which has fully owned the company since 2017, bought the buildings from former CEO Aaron Spencer.

“‘Aaron’s now 91,’ said Frederick, who spoke on behalf of Spencer. ‘He wanted to leave the restaurants in good hands.’

“Texan Ike Sewell founded Uno in 1943, and it has been operating out of the building at 29 E. Ohio St. since. Pizzeria Due opened in 1955 a block away at 619 N. Wabash Ave.

“Though many deep-dish joints claim to be inventors of what has become known as Chicago’s signature dish, Uno’s claim is the most widely recognized by accounts and news articles. The story goes like this: Sewell, being from Texas, wanted to open a Mexican restaurant with partner Ric Riccardo but got sick after sampling some of the food. He scrapped the idea and turned to pizza but wanted something more substantial than the thin-crust appetizer. Riccardo futzed with the recipe and ended up with deep dish.­

“Uno’s kitchen has also spawned a slew of other deep-dish establishments. Lou Malnati’s dad was a bartender there, and one of the founders of Gino’s East worked in the kitchen.” (Mariotti, Crain’s Chicago Business, 8/16/22)

Read the full story at Crain’s Chicago Business

Pizzeria Uno and Due buildings sold; The man who expanded Chicago’s deep-dish mainstay into a national chain has sold the River North buildings that house the original location and its sister spot back to the company for $2.3 million and $4.2 million, Ally Mariotti, Crain’s Chicago Business, 8/16/22

Two Historical Buildings Sold In River North, Ian Achong, Chicago Yimby, 8/17/22

History of Pizzeria UNO and Deep Dish Pizza (0:42)


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