For the past year, Robert Garvey has been on the comeback trail searching for a new location for his Streeterville pizzeria. Robert’s Pizza Company closed in June 2017 after a falling out with investors and the owner of the space. Now Garvey’s signed a lease for a space about a four-minute walk from the original location. The new Robert’s Pizza should open sometime this fall at 465 N. McClurg Court.
Robert’s opened in March 2016 and its gourmet thin crusts were well received. Despite the success, a dispute emerged and the restaurant closed. Garvey filed a lawsuit in June 2017. He wouldn’t comment directly about the lawsuit, but he did say he signed a new lease months ago and has been waiting for the right moment to make the his return announcement. It’s a new buildout with more space for seats and kitchen equipment. They’ll have a patio space and a liquor license. There’s still figuring out the seating capacity. The new Robert’s will feature the same menu as the original with a few new items that Garvey wasn’t ready to share.
“One of the nice things about Robert’s is that it was a very focused menu,” Garvey said. “And we’re going to do that again.”
Garvey’s a pizza perfectionist who threw underground pizza dinner parties at home before opening his restaurant. He rigged his home oven to reach a higher temperature to ensure his crusts would come out the way he wanted. Good pizza makers are obsessive and Garvey said he makes pizza at least once a week to ensure his skills don’t get rusty.
“If I don’t make pizza for while, I can see the difference immediately,” he said.
Since last year’s shutter, Garvey said he’s been on the search for real estate and has experienced a little heartbreak. He’s been close to finalizing a few leases but those deals fell through. Garvey’s a Streeterville resident and even though he looked at other neighborhoods, he wanted to remain close to home.
Garvey filed his lawsuit in June 2017 alleging a breach of contract against his partners including Shawn DeAmicus and Hats Off Hospitality, a branding consultancy. Cook County court records show the next scheduled court date is Tuesday. DeAmicus was the proprietor of Flour & Stone, the pizzeria that proceeded Robert’s Pizza at their original space. Since Robert’s closed, two other pizza spots have opened in the place. Urban Crosta closed in November after three months. Streeterville Pizzeria & Tap currently operates at the address.
The last 13 months have been focused on finding a new space for Garvey. He’s really looking forward to the fall.
“I’m just excited to be back in the game,” Garvey said.