Homeslice ownership is looking to expand their pizza operations to Old Town. They've taken over the former The Refinery space at Wells and Division streets and plan to open a new restaurant called The Happy Camper.
They're still hammering out details on the interiors, but the decor will be different from Homeslice, co-owner Clay Hamilton said. Homeslice, the creative DePaul-area pizza place, houses an Airstream trailer and a cabin aesthetic, which would also jibe with The Happy Camper name. Hamilton declined to share specifics, but did say the new restaurant's name would provide some clues to the decor.
The Happy Camper will serve a menu full of thin-crust pizzas comparable to Homeslice's with seating for about 300, plus additional sidewalk seating along Wells. Hamilton said "a lack of product in the area" attracted the Homeslice crew to Old Town, and they'll compete with a triangle of nearby pizza chains with Domino's, Papa John's and Sarpino's all within about a block's radius. There's also Old Town Pizza Pub a few blocks north on Wells.
The Refinery closed in July 2014 after about a year at 1209 N. Wells St. Prior to that, the Old Town Brasserie had a three-year run from 2007 to 2010 at the same address. Hamilton hopes The Happy Camper will bring stability to the spot. Check back in the coming weeks for updates.