LINCOLN SQUARE — Two years, six months and 12 days after announcing its Lincoln Square location — but who's counting — Roots Pizza will open Saturday on Lawrence Avenue.
Worth the wait? Well, there's a seating area that's kind of like a train, so we're starting to understand the delays.
Come Saturday at 11 a.m. diners can bite into Roots Quad Cities-style pies, "foldover" sandwiches (think calzones) and a handful of new menu items making their debut, including chicken tortilla soup and a kale and brussels sprouts salad.
A sister enterprise of West Town Bakery and Roots on Chicago Avenue, Roots, 2200 W. Lawrence Ave., doesn't skimp on desserts, from fried pizza dough bites to fresh fruit bread pudding. West Town supplies the brownies for an especially decadent sundae.
On the beverage side, the beer list — 22 on tap and another 100 in bottles and cans — consists exclusively of Midwestern brews. One of the draft beer lines will be devoted to small craft breweries that self distribute.
Per info provided by the Roots team, here's what's been hiding behind all that plywood and butcher paper: A 120-seat dining room, plus 22 more seats at the bar. The interior features red and white subway tile, copper pipe lighting and an interior marquee, plus one unexpected and unusual element that we suspect is at least partially responsible for Roots' "coming soon" fake-outs.
As a tribute to co-owner Greg Mohr's Quad Cities upbringing, a group of tables — branded with the Rock Island Railroad logo — has been placed on castors and set in railroad-type tracks. The tables move and can be strung together into a single 30-seat "train."
Climb aboard on Saturday.
Roots will be open seven days a week. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday. Dine-in only at the moment; delivery and carryout will be available at a date to be announced.