A northwest Chicago-style pizza chain announced its grand reopening next weekend after expanding and adding an antique art deco bar, which originally started out in a windy city speakeasy during prohibition of the 1920s.
Rosati's Pizza, located at West Ina and North Shannon roads in the Heritage Plaza Shopping Center, will host a grand reopening celebration starting Thursday, Feb. 20 through Sunday, Feb. 23. The celebration will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce on Thursday and all-day happy-hour specials throughout the weekend. The remodel has doubled the size of the restaurant's dining area and features a full service, art deco bar, said Rosati’s franchise owner Patrick Bush.
With the increased dining area, from 1,800 to 3,600 square feet, the restaurant can accommodate large groups which they were previously unable to consistently, Bush said. Before the expansion, the restaurant could only seat about 18 guests comfortably. With the new expansion, Bush expects to increase his sales by three to four times what they previously were in the next few years, he said.
“Pizza lends itself really well to large parties and when a party of 10 or more would come in, we couldn’t seat them regularly,” Bush said. “We want to get the word out that we’re open and not the same pizza place we were before.”
In addition to Rosati’s dining room expansion, the pizza joint has updated its bar to full service. Before they only had a beer and wine license with a very limited selection, Bush said. Now Rosati’s boasts a fine selection of spirits and local craft brews on tap. But don’t expect the restaurant to become a nightlife fixture on the northwest side anytime soon, Bush said.
“We focus on being a family atmosphere,” Bush said, “There’s no hope for us being a bar or a venue. We’re going to stay a family restaurant.”
Rosati’s 1920s stained glass, art deco bar was formerly the showpiece of Nimbus Brewing Company before that establishment closed its doors in 2018. Former Nimbus Brewing owner Jim Counts purchased and refurbished the bar in the early 2000s from a friend who lived in Chicago.
The bar started out as an actual speakeasy counter and had been employed for 80 years in the basement of a Chicago building, until the building was scheduled to be torn down at the turn of the 21st century. Bush purchased the bar from Nimbus in 2019, and refurbished it again.
“I was a little worried about the bar when I first got it. It had definitely been used over the years,” Bush said.
After having the bar refurbished, the rest of Rosati’s remodel came together quickly, said Bush. He confesses the bar wasn’t exactly what the folks at Rosati’s corporate office were expecting but it was hard to deny the bar’s beauty tied the look of the dining room together.
“Rosati’s has a certain look of how they want their bars built,” Bush said. “But I was more interested in (the bar’s) antique look and we designed the motif of the whole restaurant around it.”
The space’s freshly painted dark red walls, sage green and grey wood floors and black booths and chairs are all the Bush family’s interpretation of Rosati’s colors, said Bush. While Rosati’s is a national chain, they wanted to make sure this Rosati’s had its own personality, Bush said.
“How it all flows together and makes a very comfortable dining atmosphere surprises me the most,” Bush said. “The whole thing turned out better than I expected.”
The official grand reopening for Rosati’s in the Heritage Plaza will take place on Thursday, Feb. 20, with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce at 10 a.m. For more information, please check out their website at: myrosatistucson.com. The restaurant is located at 2499 W. Ina Road.