Paisans Pizza is coming to Oak Lawn later this year. (Supplied photo)

Paisans Pizza is coming to Oak Lawn later this year. (Supplied photo)

Paisan Pizzeria coming to Oak Lawn

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By Joe Boyle

Oak Lawn Village Manager Tom Phelan was initially underwhelmed when plans for a new pizzeria were being discussed.

“My thought was we don’t need another pizza place,” Phelan said during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday night. “But when I found out what would be coming in and what they have to offer, it changed my mind.”

Paisans Pizzeria, which has seven other locations in Chicago and the suburbs, will be opening another restaurant and this time it will be in Oak Lawn. The announcement was made during the board meeting.

The restaurant will be located at the northwest corner of 111th and Cicero Avenue as part of the Stony Creek Promenade development. Owners who attended the meeting said the pizzeria would be under construction soon and should open in a year.

“I can tell you that this is more than a pizza place,” Phelan said. “This is a destination place. I am proud that we have a restaurant like this in Oak Lawn where families can go to.”

Along with a wide variety of pizzas, Paisans also offers chicken wings, pasta, sandwiches, salads, chicken vesuvio, chicken parmesan, baby back ribs, a variety of hamburgers, and desserts.

Paisans has locations in Berwyn, Cicero and Chicago’s West Lawn neighborhood.

“I’ve been to the Berwyn Paisans and it’s incredible,” said Trustee Paul Mallo (3rd).

Phelan said the Stony Creek Promenade development, which includes a Mariano’s, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, HomeGoods and T.J. Maxx, has been an economic boost to the village. He projects that even before Paisans opens, the Stony Creek Promenade will bring in $120 million in revenue.

“I can’t express how happy I am,” Phelan said. “I am glad the owners of Paisans were able to get this done.”

Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd) gave an update regarding a shooting incident that took place outside the Hilton Oak Lawn a year ago. Olejniczak mentioned at a previous meeting that an argument ensued outside and an individual leaving the hotel got involved in a heated discussion with several individuals. Several shots were fired and Olejniczak said that fortunately no one was struck.

One person involved in the shooting reportedly will serve 30 to 40 days in jail. A second person, who reportedly had been doing the shooting, will be going to court on April 13.

Olejniczak said violent incidents such as this has become frequent the past couple of years. He does not think it is a coincidence that this has been happening while critics wanted to defund the police.

“I’m just really concerned that we don’t hold criminals accountable and we don’t do enough for the police,” Olejniczak said. “We used to have people talking about defunding the police but now they aren’t doing that. But we are making it difficult for the police to do their job.”

Olejniczak said that he opposes House Bill 1721, which is referred to as the Bad Apples in Law Enforcement Accountability Act. Fifteen state representatives are co-sponsors of the bill, including Mary Flowers (D-31st), whose district includes a large portion of Oak Lawn.

“There is no need for House Bill 1727 to go any further,” Olejniczak said. “Get a hold of these state representatives and tell them we don’t want House Bill 1727.”

Olejniczak thanked everyone who have helped the people of Ukraine who are victims of the Russian invasion that began Feb. 24.

He mentioned that a fundraiser was held on March 3 at St. Gerald Church in Oak Lawn to provide monetary support to the Ukrainian refugees, many of whom have crossed the border of Poland to escape the constant Russian shelling.

“Father Pajor (the Rev. Robert Pajor, the St. Gerald pastor) said that they raised over $25,000. The money will go directly to the people of Ukraine. One family that came to St. Gerald has family in Ukraine and that money will go directly to them.”

Trustee William “Bud” Stalker (5th) was pleased to hear about the generosity that took place at St. Gerald Church.

“In this country, we can vote people back into office or vote them out,” Stalker said. “I’m glad we live in a country in which we can elect our leaders. They can’t do that in Russia and that’s why we have the situation we have now.”

Mayor Terry Vorderer said he was delighted to attend and speak at the State of the Village luncheon earlier in the day. The event was sponsored by the Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce.

“It was phenomenally done,” Vorderer said. “Our staff did a great job.”

1 Comment

  1. Alice betz. Oak lawn senior council secretary on March 12, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    Comparable facility that was sold to balance budget is found. Where is the $900,000,00 awarded in gov pritzkers build illinois bond fund awatded to the oak lawn senior center.
    Article by Dermot Connolly.

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