CHICAGO — For nearly six decades, Gullivers has served pizzas to generations of Chicagoans. The West Ridge institution will serve its last pie on Sunday, shutting its door for good.
Gullivers Pizza looks much the same as when it opened its doors near the corner of Howard and California more than 50 years ago.
Customers like Lynne Gilbert say they’ve been coming to the establishment for the famous pizza in a pan for nearly as long.
“It feels like home,” Gilbert said. “And it was either eighth grade or freshman in high school, and I’m going to be 69 in March.”
Nearly as popular as its pizza is its style as antique chandeliers hang from the ceiling, just as they have for decades. But general manager George Gamilis says the impact of the pandemic is one of many reasons the owners have decided to sell and close the eatery for good on Jan 16.
“Ever since the news came out, the phone has been ringing off the hook and this is the busiest we’ve been in two years,” Gamilis said. “People want to take pizzas home and freeze them and enjoy them later.”
It’s an attempt at saving slices of history – and memories made at Gullivers’ tables.
“My girlfriend Demetra and I came out to have a last fling with Gullivers,” Evanston’s Maureen McGrath said.
Others say what they’ll miss most about their weekly girl’s night out isn’t the food or the décor.
“The people and I don’t mean our friends,” Demetra Soter said. “We’ll still see our friends. The staff here is amazing.”
It’s why tonight isn’t goodbye for Lynne Gilbert.
“Eight of us came out Monday night. I came by and ordered to go on Tuesday. Tonight my girlfriends are out here, and Friday I have a group of eight coming in again,” Gilbert said. “If any food’s left.”