LINCOLN SQUARE — A popular Lincoln Square pizzeria will serve its final slices of Quad City-style pizza Monday, while its neighboring cocktail bar shut down over the weekend.
Roots Handmade Pizza, 2200 W. Lawrence Ave., opens for the final time 3 p.m. Monday. It will be the last day for customers to get a pie at the pizzeria’s Lincoln Square location. The chain’s other locations in West Town, South Loop and Lincoln Park remain open, the owners said.
The Sixth, 2202 W. Lawrence Ave., served its last customers Saturday, owners said.
Owners Scott Weiner, Greg Mohr and The Fifty/50 restaurant group announced the closing in an Instagram post last week.
“We’ve unfortunately made the decision that it is time for us to close our doors. Our Lincoln Square employees have been offered, and most have accepted, positions in our other establishments,” the post said.
In an emailed statement, Weiner said Roots and The Sixth shared a lease. The closures are a first for the restaurant group, he said.
“We are so sad, and this is the first time we’ve ever closed a neighborhood establishment,” Weiner said in his email. “… When coming to this decision, after seven years, we had to make a judgement as to whether we could see ourselves being successful for another lease term, and we do not feel that we can.”
The volume of dine-in sales at the Lincoln Square location had dropped by more than 55 percent since late 2019, he said.
Weiner said Roots’ business model as a full-service restaurant with a “larger footprint” for families is “no longer viable” in most neighborhoods — and that will continue to be the case as city officials phase in new laws over the next few years, he said. He didn’t clarify which laws he was referring to.
Last week, City Council passed a measure giving Chicago workers expanded paid leave, according to CBS2. And last month, the council voted to phase out the so-called subminimum wage for tipped workers such as restaurant servers, bringing their wages up to the city’s full minimum wage by 2028.
The Lincoln Square Roots opened in 2015, the pizzeria’s second Chicago location after the original in West Town.
“Roots [Handmade] Pizza has become a cherished neighborhood spot in Lincoln Square, serving as a ‘second kitchen’ to many,” the owners said in the Instagram post. “We’ve cherished the relationships we’ve built, witnessed children grow from playful toddlers with balls of pizza dough into bright students celebrating academic achievements with free pizzas for straight A’s.”
The Sixth quickly gained recognition for its inventive cocktail menu and was recognized by Time Out Chicago as the year’s best new cocktail bar in 2016.
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