Pizza Man – Back in the Neighborhood!
By: Cynthia Sommer (August 2013)
The anticipation of the neighbors was evident throughout the summer as they peeked through the open doorway and construction areas of the new Pizza Man restaurant (2597 N. Downer Ave). The wait after the fire in January 2010 that destroyed the original Pizza Man restaurant and the delay due to the heavy rains during late spring did not dampen their enthusiasm. The new place more than met their expectations with the opening of their doors to the general public by owner Mike Amidizich in early-August.
The Pizza Man sign directs patrons to the traditional wood door and into the wood, stone, brick, and glass decor that creates the atmosphere of the original restaurant on North and Oakland Avenues but with a new look. The attractive bar of wood and colorful glass bottle bottoms with a backdrop of multiple wine racks and a special wine room speaks to their tradition of an award winning wine selection. The customized ironwork, 100 year-old wood and unique chandelier of glass bottles and ironwork hanging overhead will catch your eye and appreciation for the design effort. Customers can choose from comfortable dining on the main floor with windows that open to the street, at the bar or the open patio and unique balcony on the second floor that allow the enjoyment of eating in and with the neighborhood. A view looking down onto Downer Avenue on a nice warm night will create a great memory for patrons.
The quality food and the key menu items that were a draw for previous customers have remained the same with some expansion in the area of salads and vegetarian dishes. Besides the traditional and inventive thin-crust pizzas, you will find classic and innovative pasta dishes (e.g., Pasta Primavera, Wild Boar Ravioli), dinner entrees (e.g., BBQ Ribs, Chicken Parmigiana), seafood cuisines (e.g., Linguine and Clams, Grilled Salmon), tasty sandwiches, tempting appetizers (e.g., Calamari, Pizza Man-style Mozzarella) and desserts. Gluten-free pizza is also available. From the test kitchen to the restaurant, Chef Zak Baker
will add to the menu the “Pizza of the Month” creation.
The wine menu is extensive and includes over 600 varieties of wine from California, Oregon and Washington. A wide array of red and white wines from Cabernet to fine sparkling wines is available by the glass or the bottle. A long list of domestic, imported and artisan beers are complemented by the dozen draft beer selections such as Lakefront Riverwest Stein, Sprecher Brewing Pub Brown Ale, Capital Brewing Supper Club or 3 Sheeps Brewing IPA. The beer and wine selection and the unique bar and setting make for a great gathering place for friends just stopping in for a drink. A complete list of the menu, wine and beer options can be found at www.pizzamanmke.com.
Whether you want to stop by for pizza after a movie at the Downer Theatre, have a date night or a special occasion, Pizza Man is the place to have on the top of your list. The restaurant is open from 4 pm to 2 am, 7-days a week and 365 days per year. Reservations are not taken. Neighbors have the luxury of walking or biking to this new local restaurant but patrons may also park in the multi-level parking structure across the street from the restaurant.
Murray Hill Neighborhood Association welcomes Pizza Man back to the neighborhood and wishes you much success. Keep up the great tradition!