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Giordano's to Open in South Loop in Late September

 A Giordano's pizzeria is coming to the South Loop.
South Loop Giordano's
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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.

Build-out is underway at the former Cook County Courthouse building, a seven-story Classic Revival-style structure that made Preservation Chicago's endangered list in 2006.

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.

Despite the setbacks, Chojnowski said he's on track to meet his primary goal: opening the restaurant's doors shortly after the Chicago Bears kick off their 2013 season.

"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.