A popular northwest suburban pizza restaurant is eyeing its first Chicago location.
Nick’s Pizza & Pub said it is in the early stages of opening a location in the city’s North Side Lincoln Square neighborhood.
Owner Nick Sarillo said he is in the process of claiming a vacant building at the corner of Montrose and Artesian avenues.
The restaurant, which has locations in Crystal Lake and Elgin, is a staple for residents in the northwest suburbs and has tried opening an eatery in the city before, but complications have kept that from happening.
This time, Sarillo said things are different.
“I’m so much more excited about this one,” he said. “I don’t see anything getting in the way.”
Still, things are far from concrete, Sarillo noted.
While the suburban locations offer a unique experience, with rustic and antique décor and baskets of peanuts with shells covering the floor, Sarillo said the latest location would likely be a bit different.
“I want it to feel like it belongs in the neighborhood, even though it’s a throwback to what the neighborhood was at the turn of the century,” he said.
That means that while he still hopes to have a big wooden door, fireplaces and peanut shells on the floor, part of the décor will be unique to the city location.
The biggest difference will likely be the building itself, which is a smaller brick structure and not a restored barn-like building like the two suburban locations.
“I don’t want to put a barn in a place where there would never be a barn but I do want it to feel like Nick’s,” Sarillo said. “Even though it’s a brand new place I’ve always wanted it to feel like it’s been there 100 years.”
The restaurant isn’t just known for its food and interior design, however. Sarillo has made headlines with his business model that fosters a purposeful and value-driven culture.
It appears Ald. Ameya Pawar is behind the move as well, as he posted news about the potential move to his social media this week.
“Coming soon to Montrose/Artesian: Nick’s Pizza & Pub!” he wrote.
While there’s still much to do to finalize the plans, Sarillo hopes that if everthing goes as planned, the new restaurant would be opened between April and June of next year.
“That would be the goal,” he said.