Old Chicago Pizza And Taproom Now Open At Northgate

Saturday, January 17, 2015 - by Cousin Leo

Do you have a craving for a tall pint of beer and hearty-style pizza? If so you may want to check out Chattanooga's newest dining establishment, Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom. 


The chain establishment opened its first store at Boulder, Colo., in 1976, and the new Chattanooga eatery at 250 Northgate Mall is approximately its 100th location.


I arrived for Saturday’s grand opening and found the place bustling, as word had definitely gotten out. Crowds of folks were coming in and out of the smartly-styled brick facility amid sunny skies and celebratory balloons.


Our greeter estimated that our wait to be seated would be 35-40 minutes.  That’s not something Cousin Leo wants to hear, but the tempting smells of food and the festive environment compelled me to see what all the commotion was about. 


My guest and I were pleasantly surprised to be seated a full 20 minutes ahead of schedule. The place was packed and the food smelled great. The first thing to note was the open layout of the restaurant, similar to what one might expect from a large national chain.  There were several flat-screen televisions carrying sports programming, but the TV volume was low or mute so diners could engage in conversation.


Though Old Chicago has right at 100 restaurants nationwide, Chattanooga’s is just the fourth in Tennessee, joining establishments already up and running in Clarksville, Franklin and Murfreesboro.


The food is fine and the prices are what you would likely expect.  There are great appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizza, calzones, and many more menu items from which to choose. Though I didn’t try them, Old Chicago offers five chicken wings for just over $6 or 10 chicken wings for a little above $10.


Taking advantage of the grand opening specials, I ordered an eight-inch specialty pizza – the Meat Me – which came with a pint of craft beer from the Chattanooga Brewing Company  (beers from Big River Brewing Company are also offered). It arrived loaded with Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, smoked Andouille sausage, pepperoni, green olive garnish and fresh basil.


The pizza and beer were only $10 as a combo on grand opening day.  Normally, the pizza is just over $12 by itself.  I could only eat half the pie, and happily took the rest to go.


My companion ordered the BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger, a very thick piece of ground beef cooked to order and sided with a large offering of fries.  She couldn’t eat her portion in one sitting either.


Despite the name, Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom doesn’t serve what is traditionally thought of as Chicago-style pizza (three-inches deep, copious amounts of sauce, and often stuffed).  Instead, it’s a classic pan-style pizza similar to what we’ve come to know from various eateries.


Still, it’s good food!   

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