Two years after moving Slick's Burgers to Main Street, Eric Taslami and Rob Peterson have opened another restaurant just down the street to capitalize on the growing number of Southside residents, workers and shoppers.
The new Southside Pizza, which opened last week at 612 E. Main St., features New York style pizzas, sold whole or by the slice, along with meatball and chicken Parmesan hoagies and salads.
"Just watching this neighborhood grow the way it has, we really thought this area needed a pizza shop that is convenient for families or for people coming and going during lunch or before they go to local bars," Taslami said. "Slick's is doing great and we're just glad to be growing with this area."
Southside Pizza is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. The 1,850-square-foot restaurant, which is across the street from Merchants on Main, is in a leased building that previously held a barber shop and salon and currently has about 10 full-time and two part-time workers.
The restaurant is set up to seat about 70 people outside and 20 on the inside. But Taslami said much of the business is coming from customers picking up pizzas, and soon the eatery will also add bicycle delivery in and around the Southside and downtown area.
"We really labor over the dough used in our pizza and work to do what it takes to take it from a good crust to a great crust," he said. "We worked with a baker friend of mine who teaches folks all over the world and he came down from Chicago to put us through a kind of boot camp. Just like at Slick's, we're pretty product and technique driven to make sure we produce the best food possible."
Taslami and Peterson are both long-time restaurant workers and chefs who opened Slick's in St. Elmo in 2013 and relocated the business to 309 Main St. in May 2015.
"There are a lot of restaurants in this area, but the demographics are very diverse and growing," Taslami said. "We see families, young professionals, retirees and just people traveling along Main Street every day. Being in a food district has been great for us."
Contact Dave Flessner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6340.