SOUTH LOOP — After months of building problems slowed construction plans, Giordano's pizza franchisee Joe Chojnowski hopes to open a deep dish pizzeria at 1340 S. Michigan Ave. by the end of September.
Restoring the aging building, called "a much-needed break from the relative sameness of the new architecture nearby" by the landmark group, provided its share of headaches along the way, Chojnowski said.
But the Lemont, Ill., entrepreneur said the roadblocks were worth it to open his fourth Giordano's in the historic South Loop building.
"We were supposed to be open a while ago. It's been a longer process. The building — it's an old building, so there's a lot more detail that goes into it," Chojnowski said.
The finished product will include a horseshoe-shaped bar that seats 25, and tables for nearly 100 diners, Chojnowski said. The eatery will offer delivery and pickup in addition to sit-down dining.
"We're excited to be coming to this area," he said. "I think Giordano's is gonna be well welcomed here. We've had a very good response so far from people stopping by, asking when we're opening. I think it's going to be a good location."
The pizzeria is expected to open at the end of September. Chojnowski said the restaurant plans a soft opening for community members and a grand opening later next month.
"We should be wrapping up in a couple weeks, and then the city comes in for inspections," Chojnowski said. "Once that's all finished, we should be good to go."
Chojnowski said he's already fielded more than 100 applications from locals to fill 40-50 job openings. Applicants are encouraged to apply at SloopGiordanos.com.