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Prime Pizza Fills Taste Chicago Vacancy

The Burbank restaurant property formerly occupied by Taste Chicago will be reborn this fall as a Prime Pizza. Taste Chicago was a Valley institution that served Windy City staples including deep dish pizza, Italian beef sandwiches and hot dogs to a loyal customer base that routinely gathered there to watch Chicago sports. It closed in March after 15 years in business. Local favorite Prime Pizza is a no-frills pizza joint with one shop on Fairfax Avenue in West Hollywood and one downtown in Little Tokyo. Burbank will be the franchise’s third location and its first in the Valley. “We’ve been looking for a Valley location for about a year now,” said Prime Pizza Co-owner Zak Fishman. “When this location popped up on our radar, it was a no-brainer.” Fishman said the property at 603 N. Hollywood Way bodes well for the pizza parlor’s delivery and catering services because of the area’s dense residential population and proximity to the major Hollywood studios and the smaller businesses that serve those studios. “Catering is going to figure big into this location. The studios are great and obviously everybody wants the big studio orders, but our bread and butter is really the smaller creative offices with 20 to 30 employees — production crews, after effects, editing houses, all those adjacent businesses are perfect for us. It’s a good fit for pizza,” he said. Before opening early this fall, Fishman and his co-owner James Starr will do a light remodel of the building’s interior, fixing what needs to be fixed and installing Prime Pizza’s signage and design. Fishman said Taste Chicago founders Joe and Arlene Mantegna have been supportive during the transition and that Prime Pizza will honor Taste Chicago’s legacy by displaying mementos inside the building. “We’ve had a ton of outreach and excitement about this location, so we’re excited to get going,” he said. Though Burbank isn’t even open yet, Fishman is already considering further expansion plans. “We’re looking to expand to at least five locations,” he said. “That’s the nature of this business. You’re always looking at locations even if you’re not trying to open something right at this moment.” He specified that he’d like to bring Prime Pizza to L.A.’s west side next, somewhere like Santa Monica or Mar Vista. He also sees another Valley location in Prime Pizza’s future — perhaps Sherman Oaks now that he has the Valley’s east side covered. Prime Pizza slings round and square pies for between $20 and $32, pizza by the slice from $3 to $5, and Italian-style sandwiches at $10.

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