The mystery surrounding the fate of the Boiler Room space has been solved in Logan Square. The owners of the StopAlong, the family-friendly retro pizzeria in Bucktown, is opening a second location with a few tweaks.
The restaurant, called StopAlong at Boiler Room, should open in about three months at 2210 N. California Avenue. The bar will transform with a few vintage arcade game machines, morphing from a palace for shots and PBR to a little more like the bubble gum atmosphere at StopAlong which features vintage toys, a bright decor, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mural outside.
The Boiler Room, known for its New York-style pizza and cheap drink specials, closed in November after 12 years near the corner of Milwaukee and California avenues. There was a conflict between staff and ownership about the abruptness of the closure. Ownership said a new restaurant would replace Boiler Room, but didn’t leave any clues to who would take over the space.
For long-time residents that fear more family-friendly restaurants with stroller depots, fear not. Robert Magiet, the StopAlong’s general manager and partner, says they’ll fuse the best parts of the Boiler Room and StopAlong to create something for everyone.
Taylor Hammond, a Vanderbilt University law school graduate, opened the StopAlong in 2016. Beyond the thin-crust pizza, which have names like ”Animal House” (cup-and-char Ezzo pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and Canadian bacon), StopAlong gained a following for its double-patty smash burger, one of the best in Chicago. Hammond was so confident in the burger that he purchased ad space on a digital billboard along Milwaukee Avenue touting the burger as the best on the block. The billboard took a shot at perennial favorite Small Cheval which has a location a few doors away.
Hammond brought Magiet into the fold last year. Outside the restaurant world, Magiet made a name for himself by starting a charity called West Town Feeds during the height of the pandemic. Magiet also owned a small restaurant along Western Avenue called TaKorea Cocina which served Korean tacos, similar to Seoul Taco and Del Seoul. The restaurant went out of business in June 2022 (it’s now a new location of Indo-Pak fusion spot Tandoor Char House) but Magiet tells Eater that the new StopAlong, which is larger than the original, will host TaKorea pop-ups.
The StopAlong at Boiler Room, 2210 N. California Avenue, planned for a May opening.