Construction Update
Roots Has Sprouted, Now Greening the South Loop

If you were recently bitten by a radioactive spider, don’t be surprised if you smell pork and tractors in Printer’s Row.  That’s just your spidey sense kicking in for the new Roots Pizza joint going up at 744 South Dearborn Street.

744 South Dearborn Street under construction in January 2020 (Courtesy of South Loop Spy Joel)
744 South Dearborn Street under construction in January 2020 (Courtesy of South Loop Spy Joel)

Roots is a miniature pizza chain from Chicago that serves… wait for it… Quad Cities-style pies.  And as you can see in the photograph above, that South Loop Spy Joel kneaded into our Tip Line, things are rising nicely at the new location.  

Never use Google to translate "sausage and peppers" into Japanese.
Seriously, never use Google to translate “sausage and peppers” into Japanese.

This 9,600-square-foot pizza parlor’s most interesting topping isn’t the tuna and corn mess that Domino’s delivered to our hotel room in Japan.  (Thanks heaps, Google Translate.)  It’s a retractable roof so that on balmy summer nights people can dine al fresco. Coincidentally, Al Fresco is the Pepperoni King of Chicago.

Those of us who have had Lou Malnati’s FedExing us deep dish to a dozen states since the 1990’s may not know what “Quad Cities” pizza means. It turns out to involve malt crust; sausage crumbled on top; and strips, not slices, hewn with scissors, which might prove useful since you can easily measure how much pizza each person ate when you’re splitting the bill.

LG Development is baking this Roots location for the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group.  You may know Fifty/50 from Westtown Bakery, the Berkshire Room inside the ACME Hotel, and the eponymous Fifty/50 on Division Street, which claims to be the number one sports bar in America.  Which can only be true if you’ve never visited my grandmother’s old basement speakeasy the week before her rent is due.

Location: 744 South Dearborn Street, South Loop

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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