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Encyclopizzeria Website Celebrates Chicago's Love for Pizza

 Avondale resident Erin Nederbo and West Lawn native Stephen Beemsterboer are launching Encyclopizzeria, a website devoted to Chicago pizza, later in May.
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AVONDALE — No matter how you slice it, a new website created by Chicagoans called Encyclopizzeria is devoted to the city's many styles of pizza.

"Encyclopizzeria is an ode to our city through the love of pizza," said West Lawn native Stephen Beemsterboer, who developed the site with Avondale resident and fellow 24-year-old Erin Nederbo.

Encyclopizzeria officially launches Tuesday, but it already has a functioning home page, plus Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Justin Breen breaks down Encyclopizzeria:

The site will feature stories about Chicago pizza joints — Nederbo has penned articles about Vito and Nick's and Burt's Place for launch — plus an interactive map showing where restaurants are in relation to the CTA "L" lines.

The eventual goal is to also have monthly pizza meetups and to sell advertisement space on the site, said Nederbo, a Jefferson Park native who graduated with a writing degree from Columbia College Chicago.

"We want to make it a community thing," Nederbo said. "The potential is to inform more people about Chicago pizza and capture stories about regional Chicago pizza and things like that. There's a lot of people in Chicago who are really into pizza."

That includes Encyclopizzeria's founders, who met over Christmas at a Chicago Starbucks where Nederbo worked with Beemsterboer's brother. Their conversation quickly turned to their adoration of the city's pies, including thin and deep dish, pan and all things in between.

"We wished more people knew that Chicago had more than deep-dish pizza," Nederbo said.

Nederbo, who has freelanced for New City and UpChicago.com, will do most of the writing for the site. Beemsterboer, a Walter Payton College Prep and Cornell University graduate, will oversee Encyclopizzeria's technical aspects.

Beemsterboer, who lives in Ithaca, N.Y., also wants to spread the good word about Chicago's thin-crust masterpieces.

"I am still very motivated to spread the word about Chicago’s amazing thin-crust pizza," he said. "As silly as it sounds, I do hope to enlighten as many non-Chicagoans as possible."

The pair certainly care about pizza, at least based on a recent four-day trip to New York City where they ate at 12 pizza places. Beemsterboer believes that passion will be reflected in Encyclopizzeria's core.

"There are so many people to meet, stories to be told, and pizzas to be eaten," he said.

Beemsterboer said Encyclopizzeria is looking for contributing writers. For more information, email info@encyclopizzeria.com

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