While Beard Award partiers wipe their eyes from a late night on Monday spent at Lena Brava, there’s news on Rick Bayless’ new neighbor on Randolph Street. Reps for esteemed Italian pizza maker Gabriele Bonci have applied for a liquor license for 161 N. Sangamon St., the northwest corner of Randolph and Sangamon. That’s where America’s first Bonci pizzeria will serve Roman-style slices.
The opening appears on track for next month. Bonci’s pizza is famous in Rome at the Pizzarium. Staffers there will cut up pizza slabs with scissors before serving the slices to customers. The pies, baked in cast iron pans, resemble Sicilian slices but are described as lighter and airier. A second Chicago location is reportedly in the works, as are locations in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.
There’s certainly pizza diversity on Randolph Street. Neapolitan fans have a great option with Forno Rosso. Chicago-style deep-dish aficionados can rely on Lou Malnati’s down the street. The neighborhood should have another choice for Italian pizza when Starbucks, of all companies, opens Princi at 1000 W. Randolph St. later this year or next.