HUMBOLDT PARK — Alligator Robb has found love in Chicago — and its name is Lou Malnati’s pizza.
Oh, and he’s now got a Chicago girlfriend.
Frank Robb, the Florida man who famously captured Chance the Snapper in July, has become a local celebrity. And though he’s back on the gator farm, he’s been making regular visits to Chicago for events, including one this past weekend.
In fact, during Robb’s last trip to the airport, a worker saw him and screamed, “Alligator man!” When Robb acknowledged the woman, she told him she’d already taken a photo of him in the airport, but asked if he’d take a picture with her this time.
Of course, Robb obliged.
“Anytime I can share the blessings I’ve been given with someone else, I’m gonna do it. It’s nice to be kind,” Robb said.
And it helps that Robb’s quickly become a big fan of the city.
“I can’t find anything I don’t like about Chicago,” he said on Tuesday, speaking on the phone from Florida. He just got back into his home state Monday. “Every trip I’ve been making up there I’ve been more excited … . [There’s] extra awesomeness each time.”
Robb will next be in town Sept. 12-16, when he’ll be honored at the Green Tie Ball.
It’s tough for Robb, who catches hundreds of alligators per year in Florida, to pick what’s been his coolest experience in Chicago: He’s gotten to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field and turn on Buckingham Fountain. (“Wow, that thing’s humongous!” he thought when he first saw it.)
And he’s fallen in love with Chicago food. He’s had so “many different types of pizza,” and he was shocked at how different Chicago sandwiches were from what he’s used to back home. He had a Chicago-style hot dog but had to practically inhale it on his way to the airport, so he hasn’t had time to truly enjoy one.
“We don’t make sandwiches like that in Florida. All the food up there, it’s so different,” Robb said. “And it’s different in a great way.”
Robb hasn’t picked a favorite restaurant yet, he said, but Lou Malnati’s “is pretty awesome” and he keeps meaning to hit it up again during his weekend trips.
Plus, he’s met someone.
“I met myself a Chicago girl,” Robb said. “That’s a new journey, a new adventure for Frank.”
The woman lives in Humboldt Park and the two met by happenstance, Robb said. She’s “pretty much” his girlfriend.
Back home, Robb’s still visiting Chance, who’s living at St. Augustine Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida. He’ll next visit the gator Thursday or Friday.
Chance “is doing great,” Robb said, and the gator is “buzzing” around his pond. He’s now eating regularly and, though he was “already a chunky little guy,” he’s “living it up” and will get bigger, Robb said.
“He is soaking up the Florida sun, let me tell ya what,” Robb said.
Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.