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Restaurants & Bars 4

Gino's North Pizzeria & Cocktail Lounge

Rene G | Jul 24, 200203:07 PM

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 Shasson’s reply I couldn’t help noticing that Gino’s North was described as "that great old art deco-ish bar/pizzeria." I tried to make my first visit to Gino’s North later that day. They were closed for an extended Fourth of July vacation but I’ve been back a couple times since.

I can’t believe I never went into Gino’s before. I passed by many, many times on the L and on foot but never gave it much thought. This old bar’s interior is a real gem. There’s 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 man’s 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, that’s really not a good beer!).

This is very much a regular’s 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 I’ve 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; there’s also an 8 inch Cocktail Pizza for $4.95, sausage only). I enjoyed it but it just isn’t 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 I’m sure I’ll stop by every now and then. If I liked their style of pizza and if they had some decent beer I’d probably be there much too often.

Finally, just to avoid any possible confusion Gino’s North has no relation to Gino’s East now on Wells, Gino’s Pizzeria on Rush, or Gino’s Pizza on 59th (does it?).

Gino’s 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

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