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Full-service restaurant breaks ground on Whittlesey Boulevard in Columbus

A restaurant that serves up a wide variety of pizza and craft beer, as well as burgers, wings, pastas and other foods, is coming to Columbus Park Crossing, with a 6,738-square-foot building being built on Whittlesey Boulevard. --
A restaurant that serves up a wide variety of pizza and craft beer, as well as burgers, wings, pastas and other foods, is coming to Columbus Park Crossing, with a 6,738-square-foot building being built on Whittlesey Boulevard. -- Image from Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom on Facebook

A local business group has broken ground on a new full-service restaurant in the Columbus Park Crossing area of the city. It will be the first in Georgia for the rapidly expanding brand.

Shiv Restaurant Management is the franchise company bringing Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom to 6581 Whittlesey Blvd. A city building permit dated April 23 shows $1,768,300 is being spent to construct the 6,738-square-foot restaurant. It is expected to open within five to six months.

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom is locating across from the Academy Sports and Outdoors retail store that is pushing toward completion in the coming weeks. It also will be next to Fazoli’s, an Italian fast-casual restaurant that is under construction at 6589 Whittlesey Blvd. The latter is shooting to open within a month or so.

The Old Chicago Pizza menu includes a variety of pizzas with names that include Chicago 7, Double Deckeroni, Hawaiian, Meat Me, The Classic, Veggie 7, Classic Margherita, Italian Grinder, Steak and Beer Cheese, Thai Pie and Tuscan Chicken with Spinach. Its menu also include burgers, wings, pastas and other dishes.

The restaurant chain offers more than 110 craft beers, with it also known for its “World Beer Tour” that rewards customers who sample the array of brew. More than 30 of the craft beers are on tap.

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“Old Chicago, they’re definitely big on the food with its pizza selection,” franchise partner Dhruv Patel said in a recent interview. “They have a well diverse menu. They have a good selection on appetizers, wings, burgers and sandwiches, and from calzones to pastas. And the other thing was the craft beer.”

Dhruv Patel is opening the restaurant with his brother, Ronak Patel, and another associate, Suresh Kumar, under the incorporated name, Shiv Restaurant Management. The Patels already own and operates Player, a restaurant and billiards business on 54th Street in Columbus.

The Columbus business partners have a franchise agreement to open five Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom locations in Georgia and Alabama. Aside from Columbus, they are targeting areas in the Atlanta metro area, including Newnan-Peachtree City, McDonough and Douglasville. In Alabama, it plans a location in the Auburn-Opelika market.

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom dates to 1976, but it is now owned and operated with a mix of company and franchise locations — more than in 22 states — by CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc., which has corporate offices in Broomfield, Colo., and Chattanooga, Tenn. CraftWorks also owns two other brands, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants and Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries.

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