This December, Pizzeria Uno (known informally as Uno’s) will celebrate its 80thanniversary which also commemorates the 80th birthday of the introduction of Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. Pizzeria Uno and its iconic location at the corner of Ohio and Wabash in downtown Chicago are universally regarded as the birthplace of Deep Dish pizza which has become a staple of the Chicago and American food landscape.
To mark the occasion, Pizzeria Uno will host an 80th Anniversary party at its downtown Chicago location on December 4th at 6PM. The invite-only party will include entertainment, giveaways, pizza-making demonstrations and, of course, plenty of deep dish pizza for sampling. Included on the guest list is former Chicago Bear player and current sports radio host Tom Waddle. “I have been a long-time fan of Pizzeria Uno. It started back in my days at Boston College in Boston where I used to frequent the locations there with my then girlfriend who is now my wife. It’s such an iconic brand and the deep dish pizza has always been amazing. To think that it all started in this small brownstone building here in Chicago 80 years ago is amazing”.
The deep dish story is an integral part of the rich Chicago food scene. In 1943, former University of Texas football star Ike Sewell and his friend WWII G.I. Ric Ricardo opened the flagship Pizzeria Uno Restaurant at its current location in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. As legend has it, the deep-dish pizza was born when the two experimented in the kitchen creating a “pizza pie” or the thick upside-down pizza that became known as the Chicago deep dish pizza. It wasn’t long before people were lining up at the door, so Sewell opened a second restaurant in response to Pizzeria Uno’s popularity, Pizzeria Due, which is one block away. In 1963, Ike then opened the historically relevant Su Casa, a Mexican restaurant, as a passion project.
The legend of Pizzeria Uno was introduced to the rest of the US and the world starting in 1978 when entrepreneur Aaron Spencer, a Massachusetts resident and prominent businessman, purchased the franchise rights to the restaurant and brand. Spencer opened the first franchise location in Boston with an expanded menu to attract an even broader crowd. The restaurant added locations to as many as 20 states and multiple countries. Pizzeria Uno deep dish pizza is currently enjoyed in over 80 locations worldwide.
Pizzeria Uno General Manager, Robert Komar, is proud of the mark that Pizzeria Uno has left on the food scene in Chicago. “To come to work each day knowing that this building here on the corner of Ohio and Wabash is the birthplace of deep dish pizza is an incredible feeling. Deep dish pizza, which is woven into the fabric of the Chicago and American food culture, is such an iconic part of this city. People come from all over the world to experience it here in this beautiful building. We are so proud to be part of the legacy here and will continue to serve up deep dish for another 80 years.”
About UNO Pizzeria & Grill
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation includes approximately 80 company-owned and franchised UNO Pizzeria & Grill restaurants located in 18 states, and the District of Columbia, India, and Saudi Arabia. UNO is all about connecting people over pizza – from its famous Chicago Deep Dish, which UNO invented in 1943, to its Chicago Thin Crust, to its gluten-free and vegan pizzas.