Suburbanites craving an upgrade from the big pizza chains will soon have an alternative thanks to Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, a South Florida-based chain. Starting with an October 30 opening in Orland Park, followed by restaurants debuting next year in Lombard and Kildeer, Anthony’s brass plans to open eight to 12 pizzerias in the Chicago market over the next four to five years. The Neapolitan-like thin crusts will also be available for pick-up and delivery, according to CEO Wayne Jones.
“Listen, Chicago knows everything about deep-dish pizza,” Jones said. “But obviously our pizza is a little different with a thinner crust. It’s more Old World like what you would get in Naples, Italy.”
Jones stressed his restaurants’ coal-fired ovens as what differentiates Anthony’s from other chains. They serve pizza, wings, meatballs, and salads. Jones touts the chain’s roasted cauliflower pie with olive oil and garlic, a blend of Romano and mozzarella and topped with bread crumbs. The wings are also made in the coal-fired ovens and come served with a heaping helping of caramelized onions. The brand already retains solid recognitions thanks to the number of snowbirds in Chicago who travel to the Sunshine State during winter.
The Chicago market represents their first expansion into the Midwest. The chain was founded in 2002 and his since grown to 67 locations in Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
Jones is aware of Chicago’s restaurant pedigree, but said his chain is more focused on opening in suburban communities. However, his company would be open to the right opportunity to open in the city. The Orland Park location is at 14205 S. La Grange Road. The Kildeer one is at Kildeer Village Square, 20413 N. Rand Road. The Lombard location is at 757 E. Butterfield Road.