LINCOLN PARK — Two Oregon transplants hope to bring a taste and feel of the Northwest to Lincoln Park this winter with the opening of Homeslice, an upscale pizza restaurant.
The 120-seat spot at 938 W. Webster Ave., slated to open in late February, will be outfitted like a high-end log cabin inside, constructed with wood shipped into Lincoln Park direct from Oregon.
"Some of these things are 100 plus-year-old Doug' firs that we had trucked in from Oregon," said Josh Iachelli, a 27-year-old West Town resident. "We have a little bit different idea of what a log is than people out here."
Iachelli and Homeslice co-owner Clay Hamilton met at a wakeboard shop in Oregon about seven years ago, and are now best friends who have been dreaming up the soon-to-be pizza place for the last three years.
Homeslice will be serving up a hand-tossed artisan pie with a medium crust that has a "little bit of fluff and a little bit of flakiness," according to Iachelli. It will be cooked on a stone powdered with cornmeal.
"We always talked about bringing back a style we had in Oregon," he said. "As much pizza that there is here, there really isn't one that stands out."
Iachelli and 37-year-old Hamilton, who is a home builder, have been putting in 12- to 16- hour days constructing the interior of the restaurant, shaping the lumber and staining the table tops. The co-owners had the help of two Oregon log home builders for eight days in mid-December when the shipment arrived, but have been carving out the space on their own ever since.
Hamilton described the interior as a "retro-hip log cabin."
Along with pizzas, Homeslice will serve up calzones and salads accompanied by an extensive beer and wine list. The business also will have seating at a bar in the main dining room.
"We wanted it to feel just like home," said Iachelli, who left his job two weeks ago as a manager at Keefer's Steakhouse in River North, where he worked for six years.
The restaurant will fill the space of the former Enoteca Piattini, which closed its doors in late 2009.
"We know we had access to something no one else in Chicago really does," Hamilton said, referencing the Oregonian timber.