PRINTERS ROW — Another Roots Handmade Pizza opened Friday in Printers Row.
The new Roots is at 744 S. Dearborn St. It has other locations in Lincoln Square, West Town and Old Town.
Greg Mohr, co-owner of the Fifty/50 restaurant group that owns the pizza restaurant, said the South Loop area is one the company has been eyeing for years.
“South Loop is … difficult to get restaurants into, but that made it more appealing to us because we felt that there was a need in that area for more restaurants,” Mohr said.
“We just really like the neighborhood. It’s extremely unique as compared to all the other areas we’re in, and the density is very high.”
Many restaurants throughout the city have struggled or closed due to financial loss during the pandemic. But Mohr credits their decision to provide meals to the community during the coronavirus pandemic and a company restructuring for their ability to stay afloat and expand.
“We actually were busier through the pandemic than we’ve ever been in the history of our company,” Mohr said.
Mohr said the pivot to “charity mode” was a crucial aspect to their success. During the pandemic the restaurant group fed out-of-work employees as well as families in need.
“I think the charity side of things gave us some recognition or some visibility to people that may not have known our group,” he said. “So when we did start reopening our restaurants, like the original The Fifty/50, it was packed immediately and a lot of it were with people that wanted to come and have a meal and say thanks for what we had done throughout the pandemic.”
Mohr said the restaurant is well prepared for the COVID-19 restrictions, including routine cleanings. They instruct staff to change gloves at regular intervals and have limited dining to reservation only to help enforce social distancing.
In the future, Mohr said the group is supporting senior centers in the South Loop and has also made a recent donation to My Block, My Hood, My City. They also are trying to host initiatives to benefit families living on the Far South and West sides once the restaurant is up and running.
“Our charity work continues and it will always continue from now own, it’s just become a part of our company,” Mohr said.
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