(Updated with parking and hour info)
If you’ve had the ultimate pleasure of viewing our YouTube series Behind the Design then you’re familiar with the “ChiTown Shakedown”, a quick shoot of questions centered on locations and places favored by locals posed to indie designers from around Chicago. It’s a fun way to test the savvy of globetrotting style creators when it comes to the best spots for food and fun in their own backyard. A favorite question from every episode? Best pizza: Lou Malnati’s or Giordano’s?
Lou Malnati’s won. In fact, it does with most non-tourists who live in Chicago and are picky about their pie. Each pizza is made fresh from scratch, with only choice ingredients like fresh tomatoes and Wisconsin cheese. The crust is always baked to buttery perfection and the sauce – the SAUCE! – is to die for. I’m not getting paid to say this, folks. I honestly love this place!
Friday night I had the pleasure of attending a private grand opening held by the pizzeria at their new location in Oak Park. Here are 5 things you’ll definitely love about the new spot.
Everything is Fresh
Lou’s is known for quality but the calamari we ordered Friday were the freshest I’ve had in a very long time – from anywhere! I expect that with the new location special detail is being paid to food and beverage preparation and quality. Speaking of beverage…
The Old Man and the SeaTini
You read that right. As a sign of gratitude to the new neighbors, drinks are named after Oak Park’s famous celebrities and literary contributions. Our favorite: The Wright Kind of Old Fashioned. (Get it?)
Wide Open Spaces
We love how the layout is open, similar to a lounge more than a restaurant, encouraging conversation and perfect for group dining. Large windows facing the street will be opened during warmer months, further expanding the spacious feel of the restaurant.
“… the calamari we ordered Friday were the freshest I’ve had in a very long time – from anywhere!”
Parking is a Piece of Pie
In addition to the restaurant’s own lot located behind the eatery, the village of Oak Park offers plenty of metered spaces along Lake Street and lot parking nearby.
Catch a Show
Lake Theater (Classic Cinemas) is located next door – a vintage styled cinema, offering budget friendly ticket prices, showing new releases in beautiful theaters equipped with leather seats.
Lou Malnati’s is still a Chicago family owned pizzeria, despite their nationwide success. The Oak Park location officially opened to the public Monday, February 10th. Meaning, you can eat there today!
Update: I contacted Lou Malnati’s marketing team for specifics regarding their hours and parking arrangement.
- Regular Hours: 11 am to 11 pm Sunday – Thursday. 11 am to Midnight Friday and Saturday.
- The parking lot directly behind the restaurant is shared with Chase bank. Some spots are available at night during specific hours and all day Sunday. Signs will be posted detailing specifics.