Thin crust pizza place to join many others coming to Evanston

Marissa Mizroch , Reporter

An Evanston subcommittee voted last week to recommend approval to City Council for a new thin-crust pizza place, which if approved would join multiple other pizza restaurants planning to open in the city in the upcoming months.

The Zoning Board of Appeals voted Oct. 7 to approve 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza, a California-based pizza chain looking to open at 812 Church St., formally home to retail store Untitled. 800 Degrees uses fresh ingredients to create a Neapolitan style thin-crust pizza, according to its site.

Many factors go into the decision to grant business permits, said Johanna Nyden, the city’s economic development division manager.

“There’s traffic, there’s trash, there’s hours of operation,” Nyden said. “We want to make sure our commercial districts are vibrant and enhance everything around them.”

800 Degrees would be one of many new pizza places coming to Evanston. It would join Blaze Pizza, which plans to open in January, as well as Bake 425, according to an article from Crain’s Chicago Business.

Bake 425 is looking to open on Central Street in November, and will be replacing HomeMade Pizza Co. restaurant, according to the article. 

The city puts in more thought when deciding whether to allow so many of the same type of businesses to open, said Meagan Jones, the city’s economic development specialist.

“We do actually put some thought to the fact that are a number of different pizza places opening up,” Jones said. “What has been working in a lot of the businesses’ favors is that they aren’t all the typical Pizza Hut or Domino’s. They have their own concept.”

Evanston is already home to a wide variety of pizza chains that make various kinds of pizza, from thin-crust to Chicago-style deep dish.

“We do want to take into consideration that there will be some competition amongst the businesses, and we don’t want the businesses to cannibalize each other,” Jones said.

Nyden said pizza is a widely desired dish because it can be both healthy and fast.

“I think that people want something that’s quick, something they can take home and bake and have healthy and fresh ingredients on their pizzas,” she said.

She added that the wide range of pizza options in Evanston contributes to the appeal of the businesses.

“I think it’s hard to weigh in why people make business decisions, but pizza is hot,” Nyden said. “People love pizza. There is every type of pizza desired in Evanston, Illinois. There is a range there for what people want.”

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