Bob’s Pizza, one of Chicago’s top independent pizza chains, is opening a Hyde Park location at 1518 E. Harper Court in late January 2023. Executive chef Matt Wilde’s restaurant specializes in “Pilsen-style pizza” with dough made with Old Style beer, and the 3,000-square-foot location will be open for lunch and dinner dine-in, carryout, and delivery seven days a week. A full bar will serve classic cocktail riffs, four frozen cocktails, beer by the bottle and can, wines by the glass and bottle, and spirit-free offerings. The Hyde Park location includes 66 indoor seats, a 60-seat patio opening in the spring, and interior murals painted by graffiti artist (and Kimski co-owner/executive chef) Won Kim.
The first Bob’s Pizza location opened in Pilsen in March 2019, and locations in Old Town and in suburban Evanston soon followed. Bob’s Pizza had a six-month residency inside Recess bar in the West Loop that concluded in October 2022. The Hyde Park location will be the restaurant’s fourth permanent location in the city.
The Hyde Park location will feature several exclusive menu items including:
“The Bob Kim Pizza” – a collaboration with Chef Won Kim of Kimski
Bacon, Ssam Sauce, Shredded Cabbage, Fried Garlic, Scallions, House Blend Cheese, Tomato Sauce
Chicken Sausage Pizza
Chicken Sausage, Goat Cheese, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spinach, Garlic Honey, House Blend Cheese, Tomato Sauce
Angus Beef Meatballs, New Mexico Hatch Chilies, Sweet Onions, Basil, Roasted Garlic, House Blend Cheese, Tomato Sauce
Crispy Brussels Sprouts Appetizer
Brussels Sprouts, Shaved Parmesan Cheese, Pickled Onions, White Balsamic
Baked Goat Cheese Appetizer
Baked Goat Cheese with Bob’s Pizza “Crusts”
Bob’s Pizza in Hyde Park will also feature some Evanston location menu items that are not available in Pilsen or Old Town – including Beer Battered Cheese Curds (Truffle Honey, Buttermilk Ranch, Scallions) and Fried Pickle Chips (Fresh Dill, Sweet Onions, Buttermilk Ranch). Other Bob’s non-pizza staples include Slow-Roasted Chicken Wings, Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Arugula Salad, Thick-cut Fries, and Housemade Oatmeal Cream Pies.
Bob’s Pizza executive chef/partner Matt Wilde trained in France, previously cooked at fine dining restaurants in the Twin Cities, and was most recently executive chef at Hubbard Inn and Joy District in Chicago. Wilde created “Pilsen-style pizza” using Chicago’s favorite Old Style beer in its pizza dough recipe instead of water. The Old Style beer is mixed with 00 flour, active yeast, and a secret spice blend. The dough is then hand-stretched and finished with toppings, sauce, and a proprietary three-cheese blend (mozzarella, Parmesan, and Swiss) on most pies before being quick-fired in pizza ovens. The finished product is a 16-inch pizza that serves two to three guests. Pilsen-style pizza is similar in sturdiness and thickness to New York-style pizza while also showcasing Neapolitan-style pizza’s puffy crust. Every Bob’s Pizza offering (build-your-own and specialty pizzas with 20+ topping options) is finished with Wilde’s chef-driven touches of sea salt, cracked black pepper, and herbs after they emerge from the pizza ovens.
Bob’s signature specialty is “The Original Pickle Pizza” which consists of a garlic cream base topped with nut-free mortadella slices, its signature cheese blend, sliced pickles, and fresh dill. Other specialty pizzas include the “Spinach Pesto & Stracciatella” (prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, and baby arugula) and “Wild Mushroom” (onions, brie, garlic cream, house cheese blend, and white balsamic). Even Bob’s “basic” specialty pizzas get an upscale chef twist that amplifies classic flavors – the “Margherita” is topped with vine-ripened tomatoes, stracciatella cheese, fresh basil, and white balsamic; the “Sausage” utilizes locally-sourced Italian sausage and is topped with lemon-marinated onions, and the “Pepperoni” is adorned with fresh basil.
The Hyde Park location will be open Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Follow Bob’s Pizza on Instagram for more information and future updates.