Any idea if Panozzo's is under new management? I was in the other day, and I didn't recognize anyone working there (whereas usually it is the same friendly faces each time). New menu, disconnected phone line, and web site down. Sort of confused!
Lots of misinformation here. Not sure why he said phone lines and web site are down. I call the store multiple times each day, and I'm looking at the web site right now.
As for personnel, there has been some turnover, as there is in any business this size. Additionally, we usually hire culinary school grads and people who really know and love food. Not surprisingly, they are sharp and ambitious kids. We understand they won't be around forever. That said, a number of people at the store...David, Patrick, Danielle...have been around several years.
The menu is, indeed, new. We are raising the bar in 2013. We're paring down the menu a bit and focusing on what we do best...which is the food we make in house. AS you know, our chef, John Asbaty, who has been here since Day 1, is immensely talented. We want to focus on him and make virtually everything from the bread to the condiments in house.
Whatever is not actually made in our kitchen will be sourced only from local, responsible farms and producers, like LaQuercia, Creminelli, Gunthorp and Slagel. We're upping the ante on all of the sandwiches. We will also be focusing on made-to-order salads. We've always tried to be special, and we're challenging ourselves even more to be the best we can be. We want the South Loop to be home to one of Chicago's best markets.
There will be other changes. We want to add more seating, and keep our retail offerings small but very select. And that doesn't necessarily mean higher prices. (Some of our sandwiches are actually less expensive than their previous incarnations.)
The management hasn't changed at all. John, myself, my wife Ellen and Tony Gierczyk are still the owners. Tim Ziegler, who replaced Darin Lattimer as manager, has done a GREAT job helping us narrow our focus to what we do best.
So there you have it, Panozzo's is not going anywhere!
Now we can all sleep at night...
(Hat tip: TJ & MP!)