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Roxie's, Sodikoff's Pizza and Beer Spot, Coming to Wicker Park in August

By Alisa Hauser | July 30, 2014 4:15pm
 Roxie's at 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park.
Roxie's By the Slice
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WICKER PARK — Roxie's, a casual spot offering pizza by the slice and beer from prolific restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff, is coming to a quieter stretch of Milwaukee Avenue, about one block north of Wicker Park's main intersection.

"It's literally off the path, but it is on the hipster highway. The whole idea behind this thing is fun and casual and keeping the price point down," Sodikoff said of Roxie's, which plans to open in late August at 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Though the restaurant's sign will say "Roxie's by the Slice," Sodikoff said most people will probably refer to it as "Roxie's."

Though it was scheduled to open in the fall, zoning delays related to the patio held things up, Sodikoff said.

The previous tenant, Mexican eatery Cafe Con Leche, had used the front of the restaurant as a parking lot, but Sodikoff plans to have front and back patios instead, which combined can seat up to a 100 people in the warmer months.

"It's made for hanging out," Sodikoff said.

Roxie's kitchen will be led by Hogsalt Hospitality vets Chad Anderson and Cameron Magee, who will prepare Brooklyn-style pizza baked on a stone deck, Sodikoff said.

Sodikoff said Roxie's menu will include cheese and pepperoni slices, a slice featuring seasonal vegetables and a rotating salad. Customers can also choose between a traditional red sauce and a white, creamy sauce with olive oil and parmesan cheese.

There will also be a selection of eight beers on draft, as well as wine.

Sodikoff said the slices will cost less than $5 each and be "big enough that you probably shouldn't eat [all of] it."

The 35-year-old River North resident said he chose the location for his first Wicker Park restaurant because the building appealed to him.

"It was just a weird little building and isolated in its own island. [Roxie's] will be the least pretentious thing I do, just a fun neighborhood place," Sodikoff said.

Before Cafe Con Leche, which opened in 2008, the restaurant was home to Johnny's Snack Shop, a greasy spoon.

Meanwhile, the eatery's cream-colored walls have become a canvas for graffiti taggers.

"We paint over it about four times a week. If there are going to be graffiti artists running around, [the work] needs to be a whole lot better, they are embarrassingly bad," Sodikoff said of the spray-painted tags.

Sodikoff called the reoccurring graffiti "mildly irritating" and predicted that once Roxie's opens it will not continue to attract taggers.

"It's a nice wall with a lot of visibility and they are making use of it right now because it's so quiet. We would like to put talented artists on the wall and are in the process of figuring that out," Sodikoff said.

Sodikoff is the founder of Gilt Bar, Doughnut Vault, and Maude's Liquor Bar, among others. He is also in the process renovating the California Clipper bar at 1002 N. California Ave. in Humboldt Park.

Roxie's By the Slice, 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave. Hours will be noon daily until the eatery runs out of pizza.  No website yet.

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