West of Chicago Pizza Company to open full-service restaurant in West Seattle in 2022

Chicago-style deep pizza lovers will have a new Seattle brick and mortar to add to their list in the New Year.

The new 75-seat space, formerly occupied by the Chaco Canyon Organic Café which closed in August 2020, will serve appetizers, salads and entrees as well as new menu items.

Founded by Shawn Millard, the West of Chicago Pizza Company is inspired by the Windy City. Since opening as a pick-up counter, the one-man operation has launched zas for hungry customers, taking just 40 orders per day, four days a week,

But Millard is finally ready to grow his business, which includes hiring more staff, creating new menu items, offering full-service meals, and possibly opening for lunch.

KBM Seattle Commisary Kitchen is home to several restaurants, including West Seattle Pizza Co.

Michael I./Yelp.com

“We’re going to establish ourselves as a place where you can go to watch Chicago Bears games, buy Chicago food and drink Chicago beer,” Millard told SeattlePI.

Millard plans to decorate the new Chicago memorabilia place. “I have a friend who is from Chicago and he has collected a lot of Chicago related stuff over the years,” Millard said. “He actually opened his collection to me, so it’s going to be really great.”

With a long history in the kitchen, Millard brings more than 25 years of experience to major cities like San Francisco and DC. He and his wife moved to Seattle to raise their children, and after making pizza for friends, Millard was prompted to start his pizza. Business.

“When [my friend’s wife] had a baby, I sent them pizza, and after a few days he said, “So when are you going to open a pizza place?” That was three years ago and now it’s happening, ”Millard said.

West of Chicago Pizza Company's Deep Dish is really, really deep.

West of Chicago Pizza Company’s Deep Dish is really, really deep.

Dianna N./Yelp.com

Millard plans to hire at least 10 staff to start, but has high expectations of who will join his team. He says, “Making the food is the easiest part, anyone can do it. It’s putting it all together and forming a team that works as a team and making them share the same passion you have for food, that’s the most important thing.

He also hopes to host weekend lunches in the future, but says he needs to “feel the demand for dinner service” before recruiting more team members to cover overtime.

The new space has a large room that Millard plans to use for regular meals, but it will also be available to rent for parties. West of Chicago Pizza Company is also planning to offer a catering service.

The cheese is under the sauce.

The cheese is under the sauce.

Sunny W./Yelp.com

As his business grows, Millard says new additions will be made to the menu. While non-Chicagoans may view deep pies as the city’s staple, Millard argues that locals actually go for tavern-style thin-crust pizzas. To truly reflect Chicago culture, Millard is adding a beef tavern-style Italian pizza to his menu.

“There’s an institution in Chicago called Vito and Nick’s and they make Italian beef thin crust pizza, it’s killer, and I’m going to make this pizza with my twist. It’s phenomenal.

While Millard does not yet have an exact opening date, he hopes to open at the bottom of the Link Apartment building at 3770 SW Alaska Street by March.

“My goal was to get to the point where I had the customer base and everything in between to get the brick and mortar,” Millard said. “So it’s like, you know, making my dreams come true. “

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