WICKER PARK — A Wrigleyville pizzeria that's garnered a cult following for its unique toppings and lactose-free vegan "teese" cheese is expanding to Wicker Park and bringing as many as 30 new jobs to the neighborhood.
Dimo's Pizza Six Corners will open in a 3,000 square-foot space, less than a half block north of the Milwaukee-Damen-North intersection "when we're ready," said 27-year-old founder and owner Dimitri Syrkin-Nikolau.
While "it would be nice to open in April," the entrepreneur said Tuesday, "what's important is getting everything right."
The pizzeria's new location can accommodate around 80 patrons and is three times the size of Dimo's Wrigleyville-Lakeview location at 3463 N. Clark St., which opened in 2008 as Ian's Pizza and changed its name to Dimo's in February 2012.
Syrkin-Nikolau said he's signed a 10-year lease on the Wicker Park space, which will serve as the company's official headquarters, too.
A native of Ames, Iowa, Syrkin-Nikolau studied biology and history at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and said he wanted to go into business so that he could create positive change.
A rooftop garden being planned with the help of design vendor Verdura will be "as large as the budget can sustain," and an arrangement with a farmers co-op run by the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition will help Dimo's obtain fresh ingredients to be used for pizza toppings and in a salad bar.
The history buff did his research, and rattled off facts about the Wicker Brothers who settled the area in the 1890s.
"Charles [Wicker] and Joel [Wicker] founded Wicker Park to make it affordable for all classes of all people... if we didn't come here, some big box retail company would," Syrkin-Nikolau said.
Syrkin-Nikolau said "pizza is not pretentious" because of its universal appeal and affordability.
He wants to "embrace the DIY spirit of the neighborhood, and hopes to incorporate the local arts and music scene into the design of the Six Corners outpost.
"Most of our customers have asked us when are we going to open in Wicker Park. We were waiting for the right location."
An Instagram user, "melossaragogo" posted photos of Chick'n Taco and Mac & Teese slices Tuesday, which garnered insta-feedback such as "Oh my glob" and "Best. Pizza. Ever."
Syrkin-Nikolau said the secret to Dimo's success is "using a crispy but slightly chewy crust as a delivery vehicle" for any food you can possibly imagine.
Dimo's most popular toppings are a macaroni and cheese and chicken and waffles.
Pizza slices are divided into two categories: Simpleton (cheese and pepperoni) for $2.75 and Specialty for $3.75.
Though Wicker Parkers can't enjoy any of the specials just yet, for St. Patrick's Day the Wrigleyville Dimo's is offering a Rueben pizza, topped with corn beef and sauerkraut on Sunday. Dimo's is currently taste-testing a Chicago-style hot dog pizza "with all the fixings" Syrkin-Nikolau hopes to have ready for Cubs' Opening Day on April 8.
While the original Dimo's Pizza is currently BYOB, Syrkin-Nikolau has applied for a liquor license for the new location.