UPTOWN — Pie Hole Pizza Joint will open its doors in Uptown this week after delays to obtaining a business license pushed the opening date back nearly two months.
Owner Douglas Brandt had been aiming for an April 1st opening but missed his April Fools Day target because of the "waiting game," of receiving a business license from the city. He cleared that hurdle last week, and said he spent much of the weekend giving employees at the 5001 N. Clark St. location some last bits of practice cooking pies and running the joint.
Brandt said Pie Hole will start selling pizza at the end of this week and will spend the next several days preparing.
"It's still hectic. There's still plenty to do. I'm certainly not basking in any sort of glory at all," Brandt said.
Pie Hole offers traditional pizza favorites as well as an an eclectic variety of custom pizzas with combinations such as marshmallow and sausage.
The Pie Hole crew was at the restaurant Monday afternoon making pizzas but not selling them, just to make sure "the flow of production is efficient," Brandt said, hinting there was a chance they would occasionally step outside and offer a neighbors and neighboring businesses a free slice.
Before the "waiting game," for a business license, Brandt had faced financial setbacks early in his expansion plans. In December he was aided by $30,000 in loans raised via crowd-funding program LendSquare.
Still, Brandt is honest about the fiscal challenges he faces.
"You're never really over the financial tribulations, and I'm not sure that I am yet," he said.
The official grand opening for Pie Hole Pizza Joint is scheduled for May 31.
Brandt is a big fan of the location on Clark Street in a commercial stretch straddling Uptown and Andersonville. His is one of several businesses opening on Clark south of Foster Avenue.
The area, "has a lot of potential," Brandt said.