HISTORY OF GINO’S EAST
Since opening in 1966, Gino’s East has been one of Chicago’s most popular pizza restaurant chains! The original Gino's East was opened in 1966 by two taxi drivers, Sam Levine and Fred Bartoli, and a friend, George Loverde. Driving up and down the Magnificent Mile, Levine and Bartoli knew a hit pizza spot right off of this busy stretch of road would be a sound investment. From this decision, Gino’s East was born! The original location was at 633 N Wells St, but the new flagship is now located at 162 E Superior St, just a block from the famed Magnificent Mile.
Loverde was born in Sicily, and Bartoli was a first-generation Italian American, but they had nothing to do with creating the recipe that made Gino's famous. Instead, the owners of the new pizzeria hired Alice Mae Redmond, a black woman who had developed the dough recipe at a competing pizza restaurant and who had been at that company for 17 years. She would spend the next 23 years making the pizzas that made Gino's East famous, from scratch and memory. But what makes her secret recipe so secret?
The secret is all in the process and ingredients. Alice Mae’s process slows down the entire pizza making process. Coaxing on the sauce instead of splattering and gently stretching the dough into the pan, without slapping and fussing. The other part that makes a Gino’s pizza so unique – well, that’s the secret. Alice Mae’s secret ingredient is a combination of an improved recipe from that of our competitors and a secret dough conditioner. The dough conditioner gives our crust it’s unique texture and taste – something that makes our pizzas taste like no other.