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Burt's Place Closes Up Shop After 26 Years Of Famous Pan Style Pizza

By Emma G. Gallegos in Food on Oct 30, 2015 3:39PM

Burt's Place (Facebook)

Burt Place's, a pizza joint worth the trek to Morton's Grove, is closing up shop after 26 years.

Burt Katz, the lovable but—pardon the expression—crusty owner, says that because of health problems, he recently made the hard decision to call it quits. The restaurant's Facebook page says:

Burt's Place is closed permanently. Burt says, "Time has taken its toll on health and what have you. Regrettably we have to take a step back at this time. We appreciate everything our customers have brought to us. Things are in a state of flux but progressing."

Burt's Place Pizza (Facebook)
Katz told the Chicago Tribune that he'd like to sell the Morton Grove restaurant and hand off the tradition to someone else. He also says he'd rather be in there himself making his idiosyncratic pizzas: "I can't call it a retirement. I wish I could still be there and do it. Retirement would’ve been when I turn 80. If it weren’t for my health, I’d still be in the store."

Katz has been in the pizza game a long time. He opened Gulliver's in 1965 but he made his name when he opened Pequod's in 1971. That's where he developed his unique take on pan-style pizza: the crust is caramelized and the ingredients are super-fresh (watch him on one of his daily trips to the store with 1st Look).

He opened Burt's in 1989, and we called it a "no-frills, his-way-or-the-highway neighborhood joint." You couldn't just waltz in and order a pizza. You were required to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance and put your order in right then and there. If you made a reservation for 6 p.m., your pizza would be hot and ready for you by 6:05 p.m.

It made a believer out of this New Yorker, anyway: