It may not be an official Chicago landmark, but it’s certainly a cultural touchstone for tourists and locals who have so often given the instructions “When you see the giant pizza slices, you’re there.”
The former Gino’s East pizza restaurant at 167 West Erie Street will soon be sliced and chewed into non-existance by a demolition crew and their mechanical masticators. The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell cheesed it to River North recently and found the building already surrounded by protective barricades and construction potties.
Developer Mac West is tearing down the pizza joint and Mitchell’s soda fountain to put up a 39-story apartment block designed by Loewenberg Architects.
Recent transplants to Chicago may not realize that those slices weren’t always full of pepperoni. This used to be the location of a Planet Hollywood theme restaurant, and those wedge shapes were searchlight beams a la 20th Century Fox.
If you want to get your picture taken with one of the three remaining giant slices of pizza, you still have a chance. Then you can walk a couple of blocks away to Gino’s new location at 500 North LaSalle and reminisce over a deep dish pie with sausage. It’s OK. Sad food has no calories.