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The flock of new pizza joints opening in Evanston will have one less competitor to deal with. The Giordano’s Pizzeria at Chicago Avenue and Davis Street downtown closed over the weekend.

Restaurant franchisee and building owner Ted Mavrakis told the Daily Northwestern the shutdown is a long story and he hasn’t decided what will replace it in the building.

Evanston recently gained a Domino’s pizza on Foster Street. Last week Blaze Pizza opened on Sherman Avenue and 800 Degrees is scheduled to open soon on Church street downtown. And Bake425 is in the midst of reviving the former HomeMade Pizza locations on Central Street and Chicago Avenue.

A sign in Giordano’s window today.

The Chicago-based Giordano’s chain has hit some rough spots in recent years. It hired a new CEO in 2012 to revamp its aging menu and last year sued Mavrakis claiming he’d violated a non-compete agreement with the chain because his niece was involved in acquiring the competing Leona’s pizza chain.

Mavrakis has been a Giordano’s franchisee for over 30 years. He moved the restaurant into the Chicago-Davis corner location early this decade. For many years previously it had been located in the 500 Davis St. building.


Update 3:45 p.m. 3/9/15: This afternoon Giordano’s corporate office issued a statement saying that, as an outgrowth of the suite filed last year, a three-member American Arbitration Association panel issued a ruling last week terminating Mavrakis’ Evanston and Morton Grove franchise agreements.

Giordano’s says the panel ruled that Mavrakis violated his franchise agreements in multiple ways, including by owning and operating several competing restaurants.

The Giordano’s statement said the chain hopes to re-open both locations, but a company spokeswoman was unable to clarify how that would be accomplished for the Evanston location, given that Mavrakis owns the building that housed the restaurant.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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8 Comments

    1. It appears that Lou Malnati’s

      It appears that Lou Malnati's and Panio's might be the last good pizza places in Evanston. Another great place is the Villiage Inn that is located in downtown Skokie.

      1. Carmens is Excellent

        For many Carmens is the pizza of choice. I wish they had kept their place on Church. I never heard why Edurados on Howard closed. It was excellent but in a bad area and parking was even worse.

        1. Carmen’s

          Owner of Carmen's combined his restaurant locations. Carmen's is now run out of Las Palmas because most of their business was take out. Love Carmen's crust. It has been my favorite pizza since their original location.

          1. Carmen’s did have the best

            Carmen's did have the best stuffed pizza. Got one every week for 20 years.

            Try The Big Tomatoe in Wilmette. Owner worked for Carmen's for many years and makes a great pie. FREE and plentiful parking, charming little joint.

    2. Looks like this is unique to Giordano’s
      Looks like the the legal turmoil is what did them in. They seemed to be doing okay, but you can never rule out people messing up a good thing.

      Lou Malnati’s does not franchise. The family owns and operates all of the locations.

      1. pizza gone
        We’re all still in mourning from Edwardo’s closing in Skokie!!!! YIKES!!!! We’ll have to try their frozen one…but it won’t be the same.

  1. Pizza closing

    Sorry about this closing because they had the best pizza around here. The best quality product for our money. Additionally, Rotary uses this restaurant location for a fund raiser program which will be a loss to them due to it being a very successful event for them.

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