There has been some questions on the message board about Panozzo's recently and the owner, Mike Panozzo, sent us a letter to clarify what's going on:
Have been meaning to drop a line to Sloopin’ for a while because I have feared that the changes at Panozzo’s Italian Market would lead to confusion and misconceptions about the business. My fault. We appreciate and respect the ownership that Sloopin’ and its followers take in the South Loop, so let me spell out what is happening and why.
Many things have changed for Panozzo’s in the past two years, but one thing hasn’t. Our philosophy is, and will always be, chef-driven with locally sourced, house-made and high-quality ingredients. The food we make ourselves will always be the most important thing we do at Panozzo’s.
The menu has changed to reflect that, which means many of the “options” that existed before simply don’t exist. We are not trying to force-feed the public our interpretation of “the perfect sandwich,” but we have put a lot of time and effort into creating sandwiches and dishes that are unique to Panozzo’s. The description in my blog entry earlier in the year spells that out, so I won’t rehash it here. http://www.sloopin.com/2013/02/panozzos-raising-bar-in-2013.html
That said, I don’t disagree that we have done a poor job of redefining ourselves for the neighborhood. That problem will be remedied shortly after Labor Day. To accommodate additional seating, we have had to eliminate some coolers to create space to put in public restrooms. We have ordered new furniture, but don’t want to install it until the final buildout is completed. We will be closed for several days early in September, and when we re-open we promise to be the final and best version of Panozzo’s!
As for our identity, someone suggested that we decide if we are a deli or a restaurant.
We will be both, but in a very defined way. We will be a quick-service, sit-down establishment, and the menu will be set. In that respect Panozzo’s will be a restaurant.
We will also maintain retail offerings, like our housemade sauces, hand-pulled mozzarella, fresh and frozen pasta, gelato, and a great selection of salumi, prosciutto, house roasted meats and artisanal cheeses. In that respect Panozzo’s will be a deli.
Many factors have impacted Panozzo’s business model, mostly in a positive way. DDD certainly brought in many visitors from foreign lands…like Logan Square and Wicker Park…and forced us to become more of a sit-down market.
And while we are thankful for that, make no mistake that our favored clientele is our neighbors in the South Loop. We live in the South Loop. We love the South Loop. And we appreciate your continued support and your patience and understanding as we have evolved.
Stick with us! It’ll be worth it!
Panozzo’s Italian Market