Author Topic: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area  (Read 3203 times)

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Offline Big Daddy 007

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I am trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop just north of Tampa FL.  Are there any Tampa pizza makers that can help me out with some advice, or work with me on developing the perfect Chicago thin crust and sauce clone.  I grew up in the Joliet area (New Lenox) and miss the great taste. 


Offline GotRocks

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Re: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 03:21:14 PM »
I am trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop just north of Tampa FL.  Are there any Tampa pizza makers that can help me out with some advice, or work with me on developing the perfect Chicago thin crust and sauce clone.  I grew up in the Joliet area (New Lenox) and miss the great taste. 

I lived in FL for several years, even though I am back in my home state of Wisconsin now, I may be able to offer some insight into Florida pizza, what I have seen that works, and that which doesn't.

I am not trying to bust your balls, with what I have posted below. I am just warning you that Chicago-style pizza has not historically been a sought after product in and around the Tampa Bay Area. Do you have any previous pizza experience? If not, I would suggest working at an existing pizza shop for at least 6 months to learn some skills, then after that 6 months, reevaluate your plans to see if this is a venture you still want to get into.

Every single pizza place that I found to be a decent thin crust in the bay area has failed horribly within their first 12 months of opening. The pizza  places that do thrive down there are greasy pan-cooked Greek-style pizza with absolute garbage for toppings such as pre-cooked sausage that resembles dog food in both appearance and flavor, watery, chunky sauce, imitation cheese blends, pre-cooked veggies that are dripping with grease, etc etc etc. Then you have issues with the water and humidity levels down there, it is not usually conducive for a thin crispy crust. I cannot even begin to count the people from Illinois who thought by them offering real pizza, or Chicago style hot dogs, that they would be millionaires in a few short months. You will be dealing with retirees with very tight purse strings, and low-life unemployed part-time criminals as your customer base. They typically want cheap, not quality.  I am suggesting you do some major league research before spending a dime. You are not the first to try this, and you will not be the last either. Try to find a place that serves the style of pizza you want to offer, see if they are even open, chances are that they are gone & done for the very reasons I am explaining.

 








A skinny cook is not to be trusted!

Offline rkrider99

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Re: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 05:47:10 PM »
Please open a good Chicago thin crust pizza place down here. I can't find one locally. I'm in the New Tampa/Wesley Chapel area.

Go try Paul's Chicago Pizza in Clearwater  http://www.paulschicagopizza.com. He's about the closest I've been able to come up with. It's about a 40 minute drive, so I don't get there as often as I'd like.

It's hard to get a good Chicago style thin crust pizza like I had with Balistreri's in Milwaukee. I was there a couple times a month, when I lived in WI.

Tom

Offline Bobino414

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Re: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 06:10:05 PM »

Big Daddy

IMO GotRocks is right on target; he clearly understands the Tampa market. Read it again and again.

I have lived in the Tampa area a long time and have seen well meaning people attempt to open Chicago style pizza restaurants-deep dish and thin crust.  They usually end up closing; this includes an Unos (when they were good) sometime in the eighties.  If this is your dream then go for it, but if this is a business decision I don't think the odds are with you.

Bob

buceriasdon

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Re: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 06:36:25 PM »
Here is a recipe :      http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6368.0.html
Don
I have it in my favorites

Offline Big Daddy 007

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Re: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 06:48:49 AM »
Here is a recipe :      http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6368.0.html
Don
I have it in my favorites


Thanks Don,  I will give it a try.

Offline Big Daddy 007

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Re: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 06:58:42 AM »
I lived in FL for several years, even though I am back in my home state of Wisconsin now, I may be able to offer some insight into Florida pizza, what I have seen that works, and that which doesn't.

I am not trying to bust your balls, with what I have posted below. I am just warning you that Chicago-style pizza has not historically been a sought after product in and around the Tampa Bay Area. Do you have any previous pizza experience? If not, I would suggest working at an existing pizza shop for at least 6 months to learn some skills, then after that 6 months, reevaluate your plans to see if this is a venture you still want to get into.

Every single pizza place that I found to be a decent thin crust in the bay area has failed horribly within their first 12 months of opening. The pizza  places that do thrive down there are greasy pan-cooked Greek-style pizza with absolute garbage for toppings such as pre-cooked sausage that resembles dog food in both appearance and flavor, watery, chunky sauce, imitation cheese blends, pre-cooked veggies that are dripping with grease, etc etc etc. Then you have issues with the water and humidity levels down there, it is not usually conducive for a thin crispy crust. I cannot even begin to count the people from Illinois who thought by them offering real pizza, or Chicago style hot dogs, that they would be millionaires in a few short months. You will be dealing with retirees with very tight purse strings, and low-life unemployed part-time criminals as your customer base. They typically want cheap, not quality.  I am suggesting you do some major league research before spending a dime. You are not the first to try this, and you will not be the last either. Try to find a place that serves the style of pizza you want to offer, see if they are even open, chances are that they are gone & done for the very reasons I am explaining.



Thanks for your insight Got Rocks.  I have some of the same concerns about Chicago style pizza making it in Florida.  I know many have tried and failed, but there are a few that have ben able to make it work.  We are looking to open a low overhead carry-out/delivery pizza shop with maybe a few tables to dine in, and only open from about 5- 11 PM.
 
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 07:00:20 AM by Big Daddy 007 »

Offline Big Daddy 007

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Re: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2011, 07:08:02 AM »
Please open a good Chicago thin crust pizza place down here. I can't find one locally. I'm in the New Tampa/Wesley Chapel area.

Go try Paul's Chicago Pizza in Clearwater  http://www.paulschicagopizza.com. He's about the closest I've been able to come up with. It's about a 40 minute drive, so I don't get there as often as I'd like.

It's hard to get a good Chicago style thin crust pizza like I had with Balistreri's in Milwaukee. I was there a couple times a month, when I lived in WI.

Tom



Thanks Tom,

I have been to Paul's a few times, and I think my pizza is actually a little better.  I love his sauce, but not crazy about his sausage, and crust.  If we can work it out we will be opening in Land O' Lakes, but we will concentrate on just pizza for now.  If that goes well we could add hotdogs and Italian beefs. 

buceriasdon

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Re: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2011, 07:33:52 AM »
Big Daddy, I wish you all the best.
Don

Offline rkrider99

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Re: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2011, 04:14:51 PM »
Bigdaddy,

Looking forward to it..Any timeframe??

Tom


Offline Big Daddy 007

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Re: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2011, 06:23:52 AM »
Bigdaddy,

Looking forward to it..Any timeframe??

Tom


Hopefully sometime this fall.  We are looking for the right location.

Offline Joedejohn

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Re: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2012, 07:53:08 PM »
Big Daddy!!!! did you do it??? Please let me know... I live in LOL and we drive all the way down to Pauls, please open up here! We'll help you market for free and tell EVERYONE. Ill write reviews online, etc!

Offline Pizzamaster

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Re: Trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop in Tampa area
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2012, 08:44:00 PM »
The thing I about Florida is the lack of culture in general. Many don't even understand what 'Chicago' pizza means. All they know is it tastes different than they're used to. But I do know there are Unos that do very well in the state.


 

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