An old mechanic’s garage transforms into a West Loop pizza party.
Normally, the very idea of New York-style pizza would be shunned in Chicago. But when it came time for Michael Bisbee to train the team behind his new West Loop hot spot Parlor Pizza Bar, he opted to ship everyone off to the iconic Roberta’s in Brooklyn to learn from the Neapolitan-style masters, who’ve created an art form out of crispy, thin, wood-fired pies. “They helped us understand the beginnings of what we had to do,” says Bisbee.
For the space, Bisbee and members of the team behind Cedar Hotel and Stout Barrel House and Galley acquired an abandoned mechanic’s garage on Green Street, transforming it into a rustic, industrial dining room — think shelves filled with firewood and cans of olive oil, two open kitchens, a heated, outdoor patio with picnic tables and a rooftop bar slated to open next summer.
The result is an “approachable and affordable” spot in the ever-growing dining district. “Everything [in the West Loop] is high-end, which we aren’t against, but it felt like there was a void,” says Bisbee. “And I knew that pizza is always a good comfort food.”
Here’s what else to expect at Parlor Pizza Bar:
Chef stats: Dinner, lunch and brunch menus are all overseen by chef Colin Beauvais (Stout, The Peasantry, 2 Sparrows, Sono Wood Fired). His creations here include the Cheesus, Mary and Joseph with smoked mozzarella, white cheddar, ricotta and minced garlic ($11) and the I Feel Like Bacon Love with Nueske’s bacon, white cheddar, scallions and Yukon Gold potato ($12).
More than pizza: Parlor’s menu also features “pre-pizza” appetizers, including white bean hummus ($8) and stuffed artichokes ($10); “pizza” salads such as the peach caprese ($12) and little gem Caesar ($9); and “pizza-ish” entrees like the chicken saltimbocca sandwich ($12) and grilled veggie wrap ($10). The spot also has a partnership with West Town Bakery, which delivers fresh daily pastries for dessert.
Drink up: A large beer program includes 14 rotating and roughly 10 full-time drafts that offer “hard-to-find” brews, says Bisbee. Draft cocktails include the Peruvian Pleasure with Kappa Pisco, pineapple, lime and Barritt’s Ginger Beer, available in a keeper party cup ($12), pitcher ($35) or punch bowl ($65). Built cocktails ($12), mocktails ($4) and a full wine list round out the options. For coffee service, Parlor partners with Bow Truss.
Take it to go: Parlor has a separate door just for takeout orders; the restaurant has also partnered with the Snap bike messenger service for deliveries. “With how positive Chicago is toward the biking community, we thought restaurants should move that way also,” says Bisbee.
Stay a while: Although wood-fired pizza is a quick service (“about 9-10 minutes tops,” says Beauvais), Parlor was designed for patrons to kick back and relax. That includes 24 locked charging boxes for phones and USB ports along the walls to juice up electronics, plus Ping-Pong tables on the outdoor patio. “There are so many seats we don’t have any concern with campers,” jokes Beauvais.
108 N. Green St., (312) 600-6090; Parlorchicago.com