New Chicago-fashion deep dish pizza restaurant opening in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Pizza fans will soon have a new place in Grand Rapids to get their deal with.

Grand Rapids restauranteur Mark Sellers, who introduced HopCat, Stella’s Lounge, Grand Rapids Brewing Co. and a lot more, on Friday will open Loretta’s Deep Dish. The takeout- and shipping and delivery-only restaurant specializes in the famed Chicago-style deep dish pies that put the Windy City’s pizza on the map.

The pizza joint is located in the basement of Max’s South Seas Hideaway, an immersive 3-story tiki-themed bar and restaurant at 58 Ionia Ave. SW that Sellers opened in 2019.

Loretta’s also offers Chicago-design tavern pizza, oven-baked sub sandwiches and lasagna.

“I’m truly thrilled about this, since I feel the pizza is the ideal pizza in Grand Rapids,” explained Sellers, who named the cafe in honor of the aunt of a childhood mate who introduced him to deep dish pizza. “I believe folks are going to love it.”

Sellers reported Loretta’s has been in the operates for about a few months. He bought a pizza oven and enrolled chef Abundant Williams in a 1-week, state-of-the-art course at the prestigious North American Pizza and Culinary Academy, which is positioned just exterior Chicago.

He said the principle is effectively-suited for the current culinary environment, in which dining places — since of the coronavirus pandemic — have been forced to pivot to carryout and shipping and delivery now that dine-in company has been quickly suspended.

“Darwin stated it most effective — he mentioned those that survive are not the strongest or swiftest, they are the types most adaptable to modify,” Sellers reported. “So, in the immortal phrases of Charles Darwin, I’m attempting to adhere to that assistance.”

Loretta’s menu boasts 7 unique deep-dish pizzas. Each and every pays tribute to the people, sites and institutions the Windy Town is known for.

For illustration, The Smashing Pepperonis — a nod to The Smashing Pumpkins, an alternative rock band from Chicago — involves cup and char pepperoni, a blend of cheeses, and household-designed pink sauce. The Wrigleyville Dudebro will come with cup and char pepperoni, ham, capicola, salami, spicy giardiniera, spicy arrabiata sauce, and is topped with grated Romano cheese and a blend of herbs.

“One slice can practically be a full meal,” reported Sellers, who likens a deep-dish pizza, where the sauce is served on top rated of the cheese fairly than beneath it, to a casserole or pie.

The restaurant also specializes in the lesser acknowledged Chicago-fashion tavern pizza.

Not like common Chicago-type pizza, tavern pizza comes with a crispy, thin crust with a noticeable crunch when you bite into it. The 10-inch pizzas are reduce into squares. Loretta’s sells nine types of tavern pizza. The Blue Line — named just after the coach route between the city and Chicago-O’Hare Intercontinental Airport — consists of pulled rooster, applewood smoked bacon, purple onion, pineapple, peppadew with chipotle BBQ sauce, and is topped with avocado ranch drizzle.

“In Chicago, the locals don’t take in deep dish — that is for tourists,” mentioned Sellers, who lived in Chicago from 1998 to 2007. Right after you have lived in Chicago extensive sufficient to “become a nearby, absolutely everyone just eats that tavern-design pizza.”

In addition to pizza, Loretta’s features 10 kinds of oven-baked sub sandwiches. They incorporate basic meatball and pizza subs, as well as much more intricate creations. The Millennium Park, a nod to the famed park in downtown Chicago, includes pulled hen, brussels sprouts, applewood smoked bacon, artichokes, roasted pink peppers, property-created red sauce and Nashville warm sauce.

There are also 3 varieties of lasagna for sale.

Loretta’s marks Sellers’ seventh cafe strategy, and his 1st since the coronavirus pandemic set a economical pinch on him and other restaurant entrepreneurs.

In June, BarFly Ventures, the father or mother enterprise of HopCat, Stella’s Lounge and Grand Rapids Brewing Co., filed for personal bankruptcy. The company, which Sellers launched, stated at the time that its financial debt of $30 million had develop into unstainable. The enterprise has considering that been offered to new homeowners, and Sellers is no more time affiliated with the entity.

Max’s South Seas Hideaway, which Sellers opened independently of BarFly, also submitted for individual bankruptcy final 12 months.

Sellers mentioned Max’s gross sales have been damage by the pandemic, and that it entered individual bankruptcy to operate out payment strategies with its vendors. He reported the cafe has not yet exited individual bankruptcy. Nonetheless, Max’s stays open for business enterprise, and Sellers claims he will keep on being the operator the moment its personal bankruptcy scenario concludes.

Even though there is no shortage of pizza dining places in Grand Rapids, Sellers mentioned Loretta’s is distinctive simply because there’s couple of places in town that offer Chicago-design and style deep-dish and tavern pizza. Another stand out element: significant good quality elements.

Loretta’s helps make its own tomato sauce and Italian sausage in-dwelling, and it receives its bread from Beer Town Bread Enterprise. The cheese comes from Grande Cheese Company in Wisconsin, which uses substantial-high quality dairy to develop authentic Italian cheese for unbiased places to eat.

“I didn’t want to this 50 %-assed,” Sellers claimed. “I did not want to do this to be just one more pizza area. We’re working with really high-high quality elements mainly because that is what the planet demands.”

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