Jimmy’s Pizza Cafe has been a treasure for North Siders since 2011. Its pizza case, loaded with floppy New York-style pies, was the closest any Chicago pizzeria had come to emulate the taste and ambience of a Big Apple slice shop.
When Jimmy’s landlord decided to tear down the Lincoln Square building for new construction, owner Jimmy Kang began searching for a new home. He landed at a turnkey space, just west of Western and Montrose inside the former Nick’s Pizza & Pub, 2434 W. Montrose Avenue in Ravenswood.
In late February, Jimmy’s began a new era with a more seating, TV screens, and beer sales. A patio and pizza counter are coming in the future. The new digs are a far dig from the 10-seat cafe Jimmy’s had occupied for 11 years at 5155 N. Lincoln Avenue. The new and larger location is a five-minute drive south from the original.
Kang is now blessed with glorious space for more ovens, including a hulking 10,000-pound Hot Rocks oven. The pies are cooked on granite, so not only does Kang say the pizza will taste better, they’ll cook quicker. That’s great news for Chicago pizza fans obsessed with Jimmy’s crispy crust that forms from the slow-fermented dough. Pizza’s pandemic popularity blindsided Jimmy’s tiny original location and supply couldn’t keep up with demand. That’s not as much of a problem at the new restaurant. Find more speciality slices, vegan options, and a new square recipe that Kang has been eager to unveil. The menu also includes garlic knots, stromboli, and beignets. Though the place is fancier, the slices still come on paper plates.
Family dining has snarled at restaurants during the pandemic, especially with children under 6 not eligible for vaccinations. Since Jimmy’s has opened, coinciding with the lifting of COVID rules, business has been brisk. Take a tour through the new Jimmy’s below.
Jimmy’s Pizza Cafe, 2434 W. Montrose Avenue, (773) 293-6992, open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.,m. Sunday, Tuesday through Thursday; until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.