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Great Lake, the Famous Chicago Pizzeria That Closed in 2013, to Pop Up

Cellar Door Provisions will host the nationally acclaimed pizza maker

Great Lake is popping up in February.
Lukeylinden/Instagram

Six years ago, Great Lake Pizza closed in Andersonville as the tiny nationally known eatery faded quietly into Chicago restaurant lore. But 2019 already brings good news as next month the pizzeria will pop-up for a night at Cellar Door Provisions in Logan Square.

Operated by Nick Lessins and Lydia Esparza, Great Lake would draw long lines forcing customers to be patient. Most to-go orders were placed in person with customers told to pick-up their pies hours later at 1477 W. Balmoral Avenue.

Cellar Door on Monday, February 4 will celebrate its five-year anniversary with the Great Lake pop-up. The restaurant on Wednesday posted details on Instagram. Great Lake’s owners will serve slices of square pizzas from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and they’ll serve wines by the glass: “I’ve never been so excited about anything,” the Instagram post read.

Back in 2009, GQ called Great Lake the best pizza in America, raving about the mortadella pie. Beyonce and Jay-Z even waited in line to taste the excellence. Lessins’ passion to his craft became infamous as he painstakingly made each pizza and took his time. Great Lake disrupted Chicago’s pizza scene that was full of deep dish and tavern style. It also drew scorn from diners who felt the owners didn’t really care much about the atmosphere or customer service. For example, the normally round pizzas weren’t customizable. In 2010, Esparza told The New York Times: Great service for us is the quality of food we bring to the table.”

The Tribune reported that slices will be available first come, first serve and range from $6 to $7. There should be quite a line assembled on February 4. Stay tuned for any additional details.

Cellar Door Provisions

3025 West Diversey Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 697-8337 Visit Website

Great Lake

1477 W Balmoral Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640 773 334 9270

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