Earlier this month I asked about the pizza at the old Welcome Inn. Thanks for the helpful responses that told me exactly what I wanted to know, plus a great bonus. In Shassons reply I couldnt help noticing that Ginos North was described as "that great old art deco-ish bar/pizzeria." I tried to make my first visit to Ginos North later that day. They were closed for an extended Fourth of July vacation but Ive been back a couple times since.
I cant believe I never went into Ginos before. I passed by many, many times on the L and on foot but never gave it much thought. This old bars interior is a real gem. Theres lots of wood, lots of mirrors, lots of curves. Just a small bar and 5 cove-like booths against one wall. Not many like this around any more, kind of like a poor mans Green Mill.
The beer selection is terrible: bottles of Heineken and Rolling Rock and as the bartender said "all the Miller products in cans." Somehow Rolling Rock seemed appropriate (man, thats really not a good beer!).
This is very much a regulars bar. Everyone seemed to know everyone else. There were two TVs blaring and the regulars sat talking loudly, drinking cans of Miller products, and smoking up a storm. The front door was open but even so this was one of the smokiest bars Ive been in for a while.
The menu is divided into four sections: Famous Pizza, Tasty Pasta, Jumbo Sandwiches, and Tempting Sides. Of course I went for the Famous Home Made Dough Gourmet Thin Crust Pizza (sausage, 10 inch, $7.50; theres also an 8 inch Cocktail Pizza for $4.95, sausage only). I enjoyed it but it just isnt the style I prefer. A very thin, crisp crust with minimal but tasty sauce topped with large chunks of sausage and a thick blanket of cheese. For its style it was very well executed and I understand how some could get excited about it.
Next visit I tried one of those Jumbo Sandwiches, specifically the meatball with mozzarella. Edible but not so great. The meatballs had kind of a rubbery texture and the sauce tasted like bottled. Everything was baked under a thick layer of mozzarella. Pizza seems like the way to go or just take in the atmosphere, assuming this sort of time-warp experience appeals to you.
I love this place and now that I know about it Im sure Ill stop by every now and then. If I liked their style of pizza and if they had some decent beer Id probably be there much too often.
Finally, just to avoid any possible confusion Ginos North has no relation to Ginos East now on Wells, Ginos Pizzeria on Rush, or Ginos Pizza on 59th (does it?).
Ginos North Pizzeria and Cocktail Lounge
1111 W Granville Av (6200 N)
Kitchen: 4-10:30pm Tue-Sun (in July and August kitchen opens at 5)
No credit cards