Great Lake pizzeria appears ready to close its Andersonville location
By Stefano Esposito Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org January 7, 2013 1:10PM
Nick Lessins, with his wife and co-owner, Lydia Esparza, makes a thin-crust pizza at his designer pizzeria Great Lake in the Andersonville neighborhood in Chicago. | AP file photo
Updated: February 9, 2013 6:15AM
Great Lake pizza in Andersonville — the joint with America’s best pizza, according to GQ Magazine — always looked like it was trying to hide from its customers.
The word “pizza” isn’t part of the sign on the tiny storefront, and the odd collection of gadgets in the window suggests you’re about to enter a kitchen supply store, not a restaurant.
Now it appears that Great Lake — known for its sublime pies and quirky customer service — is about to vanish from that location. A “For Rent” sign has been posted out front of the pizzeria at 1477 W. Balmoral.
Danny Yuen, who owns the building that houses the pizzeria, said the pizza makers, Nick Lessins and Lydia Esparza, don’t plan to renew their lease and will move the business elsewhere.
Yuen, who put up the For Rent sign last week, said Great Lake will close at the end of January, after about five years in its present location.
That’s going to be a big disappointment for fans of the pizzeria, which this month features a pie with tomatillo salsa, sheep’s milk cheese, cilantro and gray sea salt.
Some patrons probably won’t miss the service. The cramped space had seating for only 12, no reservations, and no groups larger than four. The restaurant was open only four days a week and offered pickup, but no delivery.
Lessins and Esparza couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.