Blockclub - After 56 years in the neighborhood, Gullivers will serve its last pizzas this weekend.
The neighborhood mainstay at 2727 W. Howard St. will close after Sunday night service, general manager George Gamilis confirmed. The restaurant and its building finally sold to another restaurateur after being on the market since at least 2019.
Gamilis said a kosher spot could open in the Gullivers West Ridge site. The Gullivers in Oak Brook will remain open.
“A lot of people are sad,” Gamilis said. We’re getting a lot of calls. We just want to thank people for all the support.”
Famous for its pan pizza and for being packed wall-to-wall with antiques, Gullivers was opened in 1965 by Jerry Freeman and Burt Katz. The two soon split up, with Katz going on to open famous pizza restaurants like Pequod’s.
Freeman continued as the owner of Gullivers. He developed a passion for antiques and filled the restaurant with stained glass lamps, statues and other items.
Make it stop.
Just endless kicks in the nuts the past two years for the Chicagoland area.
For people who have never heard of Gulliver's, let me explain to you why this institution closing is a big deal.
1- One of the men who founded Gulliver's, Burt Katz, just so happened to be the man responsible for the by far best deep dish pizza in Chicago, Pequod's.
Had Gulliver's never happened, and had he never got the opportunity to cut his teeth crafting deep-dish pies out in West Ridge, before parting ways with his partner, then it's safe to say Pequod's doesn't exist today.
2- This is yet another CLASSIC mom-and-pop restaurant closing its doors in Chicago. They're dropping like flies and it fuckin sucks.
The last thing we need taking the place of unique and eccentric joints like Gulliver's are more mediocre chain and franchise places which Chicago has a plethora of.
3- There was literally nowhere else like Gulliver's.
My first time visiting it I made my friend from college stop there. We were on our way to his parent's house for Sunday night supper and I saw this giant emblazoned wooden sign in a huge parking lot that was packed with cars.
At first I thought it said Gulliver's Travels, and asked what the fuck it was. He said it was a great pizza place. I told him pull over immediately. We stopped in, sat at the bar and split a small sausage, pepper, and onion and some beers before heading to his folks house for a huge dinner.
The pizza was good, the beers were great, and the service was excellent.
But what was off the charts was the ambiance.
It felt like we were sitting in a combination of an antique store and the house of a hoarder who had really really good taste.
There were nic nacs and wicked old antiques on literally every inch of the place.
No matter how boring your company could be, you could never get bored sitting inside Gulliver's.
Gullivers is expecting crowds this weekend and will have a limited menu on Sunday. Gamilis said to call ahead before coming in.
“I’ll try not to take big groups,” he said. “We’re very short staffed.”
Gullivers is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday-Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday.
I'm heading there this weekend 100%. Stop in and have a pizza one last time and pour one out for Gulliver's.