The owners of Burt’s Place, one of the Chicago area’s most storied deep-dish pizzerias, is planning a location in the actual city. Burt’s co-owner Jerry Petrow told Eater that he’s purchased a building at 4202 W. Irving Park Road with the intention of opening another pizzeria. Petrow and partner John Munao reopened the one and only Burt’s in 2017 in suburban Morton Grove after taking over the restaurant from its original ownership.
The restaurant’s charismatic founder, Burt Katz, died in 2016. He used fresh ingredients and a caramelized crust to make the pizzeria a destination outside city limits. Katz famously converted deep-dish doubter Anthony Bourdain into a believer. Katz was also behind another iconic deep-dish pizzeria. He opened Pequod’s in 1970, also in suburban Morton Grove (Pequod’s wouldn’t open its Lincoln Park location in Chicago until 1992). Katz sold his stake in Pequod’s and opened Burt’s Place in 1989.
That’s key to remember as on Monday evening, the Old Irving Park Association neighborhood group posted a photo of a pizza teasing Burt’s Place’s arrival in its community. While the veggies should have been a giveaway, many users guessed Pequod’s. Those guesses amused Petrow who added that he hosted the association over the weekend.
There’s no timetable for an opening. The building, the former Thirteen Pins Tapas & Bar, needs an extensive rehab, Petrow said. The project is in its infancy stage and part of an expansion plan. Petrow is looking for investors and partners.
“So nothing is imminent, but yes I have those plans,” he said.
Petrow and Munao took over Burt’s Place only after spending lots of time in the kitchen to hone their skills to honor Katz’s legacy. Some have been pleased with new ownership’s attempts to preserve the pizzeria. Some skeptics remain who believe the pies don’t quite measure up to Katz’s pizzas.
Chicagoans without a car struggle to travel to Morton Grove. Metra isn’t so pleasant. Opening a Chicago location would allow ownership to share their gourmet deep-dish pizzas with more customers. Stay tuned for updates.