Leona’s To Close Three Restaurants


In the 80s, everybody ate at Leona’s— the deep dish pizza, more contemporary menu of pastas and salads, and a warmly irreverent and customer-service-oriented attitude in its advertising (Leona’s would send out apology coupons to its entire list, explaining that it must have screwed up something at some point) made it a standout among Chicago pizza joints. But expansion into the suburbs and a spinoff chain called Hop Haus didn’t pay off, and owner Leon Toia, grandson of Leona (who was a real person), announced plans to retrench the company and focus on its core market, delivery in the city. Hop Haus, which already sold its downtown location to Mercadito, will close its Rogers Park location, ending the brand, and a Sheridan Road Leona’s will move into that space (which is less than half as large). Three suburban Leona’s will also be closed, but the remaining urban locations, bolstered by strong delivery demand in the city, will remain. [Crain’s]