LINCOLN SQUARE — Roots Handmade Pizza has inked a deal to open on Lawrence Avenue in Lincoln Square, the restaurant's second location in the city.
Roots, which recently celebrated its second anniversary at 1924 W. Chicago Ave., specializes in Quad City-style pizza and is known for its wide selection of all-Midwestern beers.
But the opening in Lincoln Square is months away: Dave Andrews, a spokesman for Roots owners Scott Weiner and Greg Mohr, said, "We're hoping to open in the next six to nine months."
The restaurant's planned decor has yet to be determined, Andrews said, but the menu will largely replicate what's currently served at the Ukrainian Village location.
"It's a great up-and-coming area," Andrews said of Lincoln Square.
Negotiations have been in the works for quite some time, but progress has been slowed by the hoops needed to jump through to occupy the bank-owned property at 2200 W. Lawrence Ave. — long vacated by Chicago Ale House — as well as myriad construction projects.
"We started talking to them, it must have been late 2011," said Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th).
He cited the recent replacement of a water main on Lawrence Avenue and the Lawrence Avenue streetscape as pieces of the puzzle that needed to fall into place before Roots was willing to commit to the space.
"The challenge has been all these moving parts," said Pawar.
Roots is just the latest business to plant its stake along Lawrence Avenue. A Mariano's Fresh Market and LA Fitness are already under construction near Ravenswood Avenue, and Band of Bohemia has announced its intention to open a brewpub at 4700-12 N. Ravenswood Ave.
"When we look back at Lawrence three to four years from now, you won't even remember what it looked like," said Pawar.
The alderman plans to hold a community forum in the coming weeks to discuss Roots' plans, as well as a proposed mixed-use development on a nearby adjacent lot.
Asked whether the Roots deal suggested American Flatbread's perpetual "coming soon" plans at Giddings Plaza were dead, Pawar indicated Lincoln Square might eventually have two new pizza joints.
"It's still in process," he said of Flatbread. "Roots is real now."