July 26, 2021


Food for all time.

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

4 min read

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

Grand Rapids restauranteur Mark Sellers, who released HopCat, Stella’s Lounge, Grand Rapids Brewing Co. and more, on Friday will open up Loretta’s Deep Dish. The takeout- and delivery-only cafe specializes in the famed Chicago-design deep dish pies that set the Windy City’s pizza on the map.

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

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

“I’m genuinely enthusiastic about this, simply because I feel the pizza is the best pizza in Grand Rapids,” reported Sellers, who named the restaurant in honor of the aunt of a childhood pal who launched him to deep dish pizza. “I feel folks are going to adore it.”

Sellers claimed Loretta’s has been in the is effective for about 3 months. He procured a pizza oven and enrolled chef Abundant Williams in a one-7 days, highly developed training course at the prestigious North American Pizza and Culinary Academy, which is situated just outside the house Chicago.

He mentioned the concept is properly-suited for the recent culinary surroundings, where by dining establishments — simply because of the coronavirus pandemic — have been pressured to pivot to carryout and shipping now that dine-in assistance has been briefly suspended.

“Darwin reported it very best — he claimed these that survive are not the strongest or swiftest, they are the types most adaptable to adjust,” Sellers said. “So, in the immortal phrases of Charles Darwin, I’m striving to follow that guidance.”

Loretta’s menu features 7 unique deep-dish pizzas. Every single pays tribute to the persons, areas and establishments the Windy Metropolis is regarded for.

For example, The Smashing Pepperonis — a nod to The Smashing Pumpkins, an alternative rock band from Chicago — incorporates cup and char pepperoni, a blend of cheeses, and home-created purple sauce. The Wrigleyville Dudebro arrives with cup and char pepperoni, ham, capicola, salami, spicy giardiniera, spicy arrabiata sauce, and is topped with grated Romano cheese and a mix of herbs.

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

The cafe also specializes in the lesser identified Chicago-fashion tavern pizza.

Compared with conventional Chicago-model pizza, tavern pizza arrives with a crispy, skinny crust with a noticeable crunch when you bite into it. The 10-inch pizzas are slice into squares. Loretta’s sells nine kinds of tavern pizza. The Blue Line — named following the practice route amongst the town and Chicago-O’Hare International Airport — consists of pulled rooster, applewood smoked bacon, crimson onion, pineapple, peppadew with chipotle BBQ sauce, and is topped with avocado ranch drizzle.

“In Chicago, the locals really don’t take in deep dish — that is for travellers,” claimed Sellers, who lived in Chicago from 1998 to 2007. Right after you’ve lived in Chicago lengthy adequate to “become a regional, everyone just eats that tavern-model pizza.”

In addition to pizza, Loretta’s features 10 sorts of oven-baked sub sandwiches. They involve vintage meatball and pizza subs, as properly as far more intricate creations. The Millennium Park, a nod to the famed park in downtown Chicago, features pulled hen, brussels sprouts, applewood smoked bacon, artichokes, roasted purple peppers, house-created red sauce and Nashville hot sauce.

There are also a few kinds of lasagna for sale.

Loretta’s marks Sellers’ seventh cafe strategy, and his first given that the coronavirus pandemic set a economical pinch on him and other cafe proprietors.

In June, BarFly Ventures, the mum or dad company of HopCat, Stella’s Lounge and Grand Rapids Brewing Co., submitted for individual bankruptcy. The business, which Sellers started, reported at the time that its credit card debt of $30 million experienced develop into unstainable. The organization has considering that been marketed to new proprietors, and Sellers is no for a longer period affiliated with the entity.

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

Sellers stated Max’s product sales have been harm by the pandemic, and that it entered personal bankruptcy to function out payment ideas with its vendors. He said the restaurant has not however exited personal bankruptcy. Even so, Max’s stays open up for business, and Sellers states he will continue to be the operator after its bankruptcy circumstance concludes.

Although there is no scarcity of pizza dining establishments in Grand Rapids, Sellers said Loretta’s is distinctive because there’s several spots in town that supply Chicago-design deep-dish and tavern pizza. Another stand out characteristic: substantial high quality ingredients.

Loretta’s tends to make its personal tomato sauce and Italian sausage in-household, and it receives its bread from Beer Town Bread Company. The cheese arrives from Grande Cheese Organization in Wisconsin, which works by using significant-high-quality dairy to develop authentic Italian cheese for independent places to eat.

“I didn’t want to this 50 %-assed,” Sellers claimed. “I did not want to do this to be just a different pizza spot. We’re employing definitely large-excellent ingredients due to the fact that is what the environment demands.”

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