Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza Expands into Chicago
The south Florida-based concept, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, is hotter than most others in the category—literally. With signature coal fired pizzas, oven roasted chicken wings and coal fired roasted pork ribs, all cooked at 800 degrees, the brand has capitalized on its “well-done” coal fired taste to create loyal fans and entice new ones. Since its inception in the early 2000s, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza has grown to more than 60 company-owned locations, offering a craveable menu and inviting atmosphere in various cities throughout Florida, the East Coast and, soon, Chicago.
“Chicago is a huge market for growth for Anthony’s,” said COO Chuck Locke. “We’re bringing something completely different to the marketplace and feel that our coal fired concept will be embraced by new fans in the area, just like it has been in the Northeast and Southeast regions.”
As the brand extends its roots with its first entry into the Midwest, Anthony’s will soon have a presence in Lombard and Orland Park, Illinois, with sights set on Vernon Hills and Kildeer restaurant openings shortly after. Chicagoans can also look forward to the development of up to 20 restaurants, all including full bar and take out options, scattered throughout the suburbs and city center in the next several years.
Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza was created by Anthony Bruno, a New York native who felt like he couldn’t find great pizza in Florida. Having restaurant industry experience running Florida’s popular, full-service Italian restaurant and lounge, Anthony’s Runway 84, with his father, Bruno was armed with generations of family recipes and restaurant know-how. He made it his mission to unlock the best way to make quality pizza. Bruno traveled to New York City and studied various cooking methods, realizing that the taste of coal fired pizza was unrivaled and the market wasn’t overly saturated. But instead of simply using the coal fired ovens to only make pizzas, Bruno saw an opportunity to do something revolutionary – create an entire menu of coal fired food. Everything (except the salad) Anthony’s serves is cooked in the coal fired oven.
All ingredients used on the Anthony’s menu are fresh – never frozen – and pizzas are made from scratch daily. Bruno goes as far as taste testing the premium selection of imported plum tomatoes that come directly from Italy every year. From purchasing the entire wheel of Pecorino Romano and grating it to ensure only 100% cheese, to the Italian Filippo Berio Olive Oil, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza is committed to providing top quality food and service to its guests.
Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza is more than a mouth-watering pizza joint, it’s a family-focused Italian restaurant and local community hangout, with each location having its own personality. Anthony selects all the music himself, including an eclectic mix from Frank Sinatra to Akon, giving the restaurants a homey, family feel with a song that everyone can enjoy. The company also prides itself on the bartenders, hosts and servers getting to know its guests and separating themselves from the big chains from a service standpoint by truly creating a neighborhood-friendly culture where the patrons feel like they have a friend at their local Anthony’s. All locations put a heavy focus on giving back to their communities through local grass roots efforts and such as Little League team sponsorships.
“My main focus has always been to create pizza that’s simultaneously unique and classic, and Chicago hasn’t seen pizza like ours yet,” said Bruno. “We’re excited to integrate ourselves in Chicago’s reputation as an epicenter for quality pizza, and to introduce Midwesterners to a new pizza experience that’s simply different than what they’re used to. One of the reasons we set our sights on Chicago was because many Chicagoans travel to Florida and enjoy our coal fired specialties and now I’m excited to bring the “well done” experience to them.”