It’s the day Chicago pizza lovers have eagerly awaited—the opening of legendary pizzeria “Lou Malnati’s” in  Phoenix.  Malnati’s has been a Chicago area fixture for decades, but the restaurant in Phoenix will be the first one to open outside the state of Illinois. 

Marc Malnati, who has run the family business for nearly forty years, says he has vacationed in Arizona for years, and says he constantly runs in to people who have relocated here from the Chicago area.  “That makes it a draw for us, because we know we have a set number of customers who we’ve already won over.  Now we just have to win over the Phoenicians”.  Malnati says five managers have relocated to Arizona from Illinois to help run the new restaurant.  He’s also gone to the trouble of using a reverse osmosis procedure to replicate the texture of the water used in their kitchens in Chicago.  That way, he says the deep dish pizza they serve up here will taste exactly like the pizza served in their 45 locations around the windy city.  “Lou Malnati’s” is located in the Uptown Plaza shopping center in downtown Phoenix.

–Jeff Scott