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Jan 7, 2008 08:21 AM

What happened to Pizzeria Uno?

I grew up in southern New Jersey, and my family tried & fell in love with Pizzeria Uno in Philadelphia in the mid-1980s. Another location soon opened in the Cherry Hill area, and we always made it a stop when we were in the area. I moved to NYC in the mid-1990s and ate at one in the East Village regularly. All of these locations are now gone, and I'm now living in Los Angeles, where the nearest Uno's (I think) is at least 2 hours away, somewhere in San Diego. Does anyone know what happened? Was Uno's a victim of rampant carbophobia? I was also dismayed to see far fewer pizzas on online menu; my all-time favorite, Veggie, is gone. I had a 3-hour layover at Milwaukee airport over the holidays & was thrilled to find a little Uno's stand onsite. It was airport pizza for sure, but airport Uno's is better than no Uno's at all.....

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  1. Well, it's still here in Chicago. You can also have it shipped to you....

    5 Replies
    1. re: NinaS

      Yea there are a couple different locations in Chicago. I'm not such a fan of the stuff though.

      1. re: Chew on That

        The 2 Chicago locations are reportedly very different than the chain that bears its name. I've never been to the chain, but everybody says that they are not the same as the original Chicago locations.

        1. re: rubinow

          That is correct. I have long been a fan of the Uno chain pizza (and back in the '80s even did some legal work for the Boston franchisee), and years ago I got to try the original. Not the same. What the chain serves is "deeper" than what most of us consider pizza, but it's nothing like real Chicago deep dish pizza.

          Also, the chain has morphed over the years and last I saw the local outpost (Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax VA) was called Uno Bar and Grill -- so they seem to be downpaying the 'za even more.

      2. re: NinaS

        Nina, out of curiosity, is Uno's regarded as a good place to go for deep dish in Chicago? I'd venture to guess that with the number of independently owned, non-chain, quality deep-dish pizza options in the Windy City, a place like this would be considered a joke. Kind of like going to Domino's in NYC.

        1. re: globocity

          The Uno's chain is an entirely different experience than the original Uno's. They tried to capitalize on the novelty and mystique of Chicago-style back in the early 80's. I made the mistake of trying the chain (in New Hampshire, I believe) and was very disappointed. It's a totally different product. The only thing they share is the name.

      3. I'm not sure what happened to the one in the East Village, it was there one day and gone the next... But there's still a Pizzeria Uno on 86th St on the Upper East Side.

        2 Replies
        1. re: southern transplant

          There's also one on the UWS, unless that's closed as well. Didn't know that the one in the Village closed. But is the one in the W. Village still open? Used to go there as a teenager often with friends. Loved those potato skins! Good times....

          1. re: gloriousfood

            The one on 6th ave between 8'th street and Waverly is still there. Spent many a night propping up that bar. Pizza ? Not so much. Ray's was only blocks away.

        2. A couple Unos in DC closed, but more opened in the suburbs. I don't go anymore since the last few times, they went overboard on the butter spray. It tasted like I was eating soggy garlic bread, not pizza.

          1. A new one opened in this area (north Pittsburgh suburbs) a few years ago. Still around, certainly. Wider menu and known as "Uno Chicago Grill" which is a change from what it said on most signs several years back "Pizzeria Uno Chicago Bar & Grill".

            I don't really think it's a concept on the rise, but I'm sure it does fine in some areas. In this area, people are still quite hot on this casual chains and wait over an hour to get into Olive Garden and such....

            2 Replies
            1. re: CrazyOne

              Sounds like they're making the same move Boston Chicken made, changing their name to Boston Market. Didnt save them from bankrupcy. Same deal with Kentucky Fried Chicken going to KFC. Now they're all switching BACK to Kentucky Fried Chicken; going back to their "core mission."

              I've been noticing a lot of Unos pizzas in the deli section of the grocery stores. Havent noticed anyone buying them though.

              1. re: monkeyrotica

                I bought one from a grocery once. ONCE. It was nothing like the restaurant. I followed the instructions, but the toppings got too browned and the crust stayed "mushy". I think it's the only pizza I've ever had to throw away. : (

            2. The one in Massapequa closed a few years ago but I still think there are 1 or 2 left on Long Island. I love their potatoe skins(it is more like mashed potateoes with bacon in seep dish crsut

              1 Reply
              1. re: linsue

                The one in Bayside (Queens) is still there.

                We haven't eaten there in years, although it was a regular spot for us when we were dating. The last few times we ate there we were really disappointed in the quality. However, around the same time we noticed we didn't like any chains, so...