Fast-casual pizza has invaded Chicago, and the company behind popular Chicago chains Al's Beef and Nancy's Pizza want to put their spins on the concept. Chicago Franchise Systems is hitting the suburbs first with Doughocracy Pizza + Beer, which will debut in north suburban Geneva later this year. It's unknown when the fast-casual concept with reach Chicago proper, though a second spot is planned for University City, Mo.
Chicago Franchise Systems sees the influx of fast-casual pizza concepts as more than a fad. The Chicago market in recent years has seen Blaze Pizza and Toppers Pizza enter. Doughocracy's customers will top 12-inch Neapolitan-style pies that staff will bake in three minutes. Guests can pick from 10 varieties on the menu, or choose from more than 30 toppings to create their own. It's a departure from Nancy's stuffed pies.
A spokeswoman for Chicago Franchise Systems said the company is scouting several other locations, with a hope to open more spots later this year. The Geneva spot and Missouri spots will open in October or November.