Chicago-based pizza chain Lou Malnati’s coming to north side

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(Image courtesy of Lou Malnati's via Wikimedia Commons)

The Chicago-style pizza chain Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria plans to open its first Indianapolis location at 2902 W. 86th St.

A company spokeswoman confirmed to IBJ on Tuesday that the company plans to enter the market at that location, although “due to uncertain times, we don’t know when we’ll open at this point.”

According to information submitted to IBJ, Lou Malnati’s has signed a lease for a 1,600-square-foot space at the Willow Lake West shopping center. The property is on the north side of 86th Street, just east of Michigan Road near The Pyramids office complex.

Lou Malnati’s operates both full-service restaurants and carryout-and-delivery-only locations. The 86th Street location will be for carryout and delivery only.

The space that Lou Malnati’s is to occupy formerly housed a Sport Clips barber shop.

The chain has plans to open additional locations in Indianapolis and the surrounding suburbs “down the road,” the spokeswoman said. She did not specify any locations.

Lou Malnati’s was established by the husband-and-wife team of Lou and Jean Malnati, using a deep-dish pizza recipe that Lou Malnati’s grandfather helped create. The couple opened their first restaurant in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood on St. Patrick’s Day in 1971.

When Lou Malnati died in 1978, his sons Marc and Rick took over the company. In 2016, Lou Malnati’s sold a minority stake in the company to Oak Brook, Illinois-based private equity firm BTD Capital Partners so the restaurant chain could focus on growth. The restaurant chain had 46 stores at the time of the BTD Capital deal, according to a 2016 report from Crain’s Chicago Business.

Today, Lou Malnati’s has 56 locations operating in the greater Chicago area, including a Schererville location—the chain’s first Indiana store—that opened last year. The Chicago-area locations include 18 full-service restaurants, and the other 38 offer carryout-and-delivery-only service.

The chain also has a carryout-and-delivery-only restaurant in Fox Point, Wisconsin, with a full-service restaurant in Brookfield, Wisconsin, coming soon. It also has four locations in Arizona: two full-service restaurants and two carryout-and-delivery-only locations, including one coming soon in Glendale, Arizona.

Lou Malnati’s also ships its frozen pizzas to customers throughout the U.S.

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8 thoughts on “Chicago-based pizza chain Lou Malnati’s coming to north side

    1. Thank god they’re not building in Fishers. I’m tired of having to go to the suburbs for everything.

    2. Shocker…Guess who shows up with his enlightened comment. Good job Frank, right on schedule.

  1. Over 2 years ago my partner and I decided to go to Chicago for a long weekend. We had never taken a “food tour” anywhere, so we tried this one….primarily through two nearby neighborhoods with 5 stops, including Malnati’s. The minute I saw this IBJ item, I remembered how absolutely delicious the pizza had been. And it had to be special to remember this. The only thing it compared to is the great pizzas at the Union Jack Put – particularly the deep dish. Will be giving this a visit.

  2. I’ve waited 20 years for this following relo from Chicago!!!! BEST…PIZZA…EVER. Such a welcome piece of news given everything going on.

    I would suspect Fishers will get one eventually – especially given Lou’s / Portillo’s joint marketing. Would make a killing around Grand Park as well.