When Eater Austin first spotted a Texas hiring notice for the Chicago deep dish pizza legend, Gino's East in August, Texans lost their ever-loving minds. Social media was abuzz of the news and for good reason. No longer would flying to the Windy City be a requirement for a slice of the real thing. Gino's East would be apart of the Lone Star state and the best news of all, one would be coming to the Houston-area - The Woodlands.
But wait, it gets better.
Out of the planned Austin, Dallas and San Antonio restaurants, The Woodlands location will open this year and it's all thanks to the owner of a breastaurant.
Doug Guller, founder and owner of ATX Brands-known for trademarking the word breastaurant when opening Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill, the shuttered sports bar in The Woodlands- officially announced he's bringing Gino's East to Texas. The expansion into the Lone Star state is part of a franchising deal. Guller promises to bring the Chicago pizzeria's signature dishes to all locations.
"We're honored to bring a legendary taste of the Windy City to Texas," says Noah Himmel, vice president and third generation of the family owners of Gino's East in a statement. "We're confident our signature Chicago deep dish fan favorites, like the Meaty Legend Pizza, Chicago Fire Pizza, and Gino's East Specialty Patty-Style Sausage Pizza, as well as Deep Dish Nachos and Handmade Mozzarella Sticks, will be enthusiastically embraced by Texans. We also look forward to creating new menu items incorporating the Texas region's renowned fare."
In addition to the beloved Chicago-style pizzas, there will be a Texas spin on some menu items. One of the menu items specifically for Texas, BQ Brisket Za, a pizza with barbecue beef brisket, caramelized onions, and red and yellow peppers. Local craft beers will be available, as well as wine and cocktails.
Gino's East is an icon in the Chicago pizza scene and we're excited to bring the classic deep dish style to Texas," says Guller via a press release. "As soon as I tasted Gino's East, I knew it was a concept that would work great here. I am so excited that this is a dream that turned into a reality."
Houston is excited too. Giordano's scouting Houston locations and the Houston-area will have not one, but two Gino's East pizzerias. Guller also shared that there will be a second location in the Willowbrook area. In the meantime, how will Houstonians and Woodlands residents pass the time while waiting on Texas' first Gino's East to open at the former Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill?