Firenze Italian Avenue Food stuff Expands To Wicker Park, Bringing Schiacciata Flatbread Sandwiches To Division Road

WICKER PARK — An Italian sandwich shop with bread baked in-house is opening on the border of Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village.

Firenze, 2121 W. Division St., delivers sandwiches produced with schiacciata, a well-liked flatbread discovered in Florence, Italy, for which the restaurant is named. Alternatives assortment from turkey pecorino to truffle prosciutto and roasted veggie.

The business is expanding from its 1st location in the West Loop’s French Sector. Firenze is operate by Kevin Hunsberger and Alan Wallis.

Hunsberger joined the company final 12 months immediately after Wallis’ son-in-regulation, who co-started the shop in 2018 right after a vacation to Italy, moved to a silent lover situation.

The duo started out eyeing an growth and commenced wanting for a central locale to bake their bread.

“We needed a location to bake bread. At French Current market, we’ve received a couple hundred sq. toes to function with. [But] we had a good adhering to and presence. And a manufacturer that we considered could have legs,” Wallis claimed.

Credit rating: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
Kevin Hunsberger and Alan Wallis operate Firenze, an Italian sandwich shop opening this thirty day period on Division Road in Wicker Park.

Immediately after an considerable look for, Wallis and Hunsberger identified the Wicker Park locale, which will open up subsequent 7 days, even though it may begin serving prospects informally before then. The restaurant’s bread is all baked at the storefront.

Hunsberger, who oversees culinary improvement for the firm, claimed it is really the schiacciata bread that sets Firenze’s sandwiches aside from competitors.

“I’ve never ever found it in this place. I’ve found a thin foccaccia, but it is really foccaccia, it’s not what we do,” he stated. “We really do not want to be a Panera. We really do not want to be a Così. We want to be Firenze.”

Firenze’s menu is somewhat compact, with only 7 sandwiches accessible for now, as effectively as two salads — but Hunsberger claimed which is on goal.

“We’re not likely to be that brand name that is going to have 25 sandwiches and a bunch of other things. It’s a piece that I believe is crucial to us. We are going make absolutely sure every thing reaches a threshold of quality that we assume,” Hunsberger explained.

Wallis and Hunsberger hope the Wicker Park place is the to start with in a wider growth. They are in talks to open up at several foods halls afterwards this calendar year, and they hope to have as several as 10 destinations by 2024.

For their second place, the associates claimed they prepare to develop into an active aspect of the larger sized Wicker Park and West Town neighborhoods. Throughout their initial month, Firenze programs to donate $1 from each and every sandwich to a Ukrainian relief group.

“This is likely to be our to start with option to definitely be in a wonderful, great local community and seriously be a great element of that. We never want to just be that chain restaurant that normally takes edge of the neighborhood. … We want to be a component of the community,” Hunsberger mentioned.

Firenze Wicker Park will be open 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. every day.

Credit: Presented
The caprese sandwich from Firenze Italian Avenue Food.
Credit: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
The spicy soppressata sandwich from Firenze Italian Street Food stuff.

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