Firenze Italian Street Food Expands To Wicker Park, Bringing Schiacciata Flatbread Sandwiches To Division Street

WICKER PARK — An Italian sandwich shop with bread baked in-dwelling is opening on the border of Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village.

Firenze, 2121 W. Division St., provides sandwiches designed with schiacciata, a well-liked flatbread found in Florence, Italy, for which the cafe is named. Possibilities vary from turkey pecorino to truffle prosciutto and roasted veggie.

The business is growing from its initially location in the West Loop’s French Current market. Firenze is run by Kevin Hunsberger and Alan Wallis.

Hunsberger joined the corporation very last yr right after Wallis’ son-in-regulation, who co-founded the store in 2018 right after a excursion to Italy, moved to a silent associate posture.

The duo started out eyeing an expansion and started on the lookout for a central site to bake their bread.

“We needed a area to bake bread. At French Current market, we have got a couple hundred sq. ft to operate with. [But] we experienced a great pursuing and existence. And a brand name that we considered could have legs,” Wallis claimed.

Firenze Italian Street Food Expands To Wicker Park, Bringing Schiacciata Flatbread Sandwiches To Division StreetCredit score: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
Kevin Hunsberger and Alan Wallis operate Firenze, an Italian sandwich shop opening this thirty day period on Division Avenue in Wicker Park.

Immediately after an considerable research, Wallis and Hunsberger uncovered the Wicker Park site, which will open subsequent 7 days, even though it may well commence serving customers informally just before then. The restaurant’s bread is all baked at the storefront.

Hunsberger, who oversees culinary enhancement for the organization, reported it is really the schiacciata bread that sets Firenze’s sandwiches aside from opponents.

“I’ve by no means witnessed it in this nation. I’ve noticed a skinny foccaccia, but it is truly foccaccia, it’s not what we do,” he reported. “We really don’t want to be a Panera. We do not want to be a Così. We want to be Firenze.”

Firenze’s menu is rather tiny, with only 7 sandwiches available for now, as well as two salads — but Hunsberger explained which is on reason.

“We’re not likely to be that brand that’s likely to have 25 sandwiches and a bunch of other things. It is a piece that I consider is critical to us. We are going make absolutely sure almost everything reaches a threshold of good quality that we be expecting,” Hunsberger explained.

Wallis and Hunsberger hope the Wicker Park place is the initially in a broader enlargement. They’re in talks to open up at quite a few foodstuff halls later this 12 months, and they hope to have as numerous as 10 places by 2024.

For their 2nd spot, the associates claimed they prepare to turn out to be an energetic component of the greater Wicker Park and West Town neighborhoods. Throughout their first thirty day period, Firenze ideas to donate $1 from each sandwich to a Ukrainian relief group.

“This is likely to be our to start with prospect to really be in a excellent, excellent neighborhood and genuinely be a superior aspect of that. We really do not want to just be that chain cafe that requires benefit of the local community. … We want to be a section of the group,” Hunsberger reported.

Firenze Wicker Park will be open 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. day by day.

Credit: Provided
The caprese sandwich from Firenze Italian Road Food items.
Credit history: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
The spicy soppressata sandwich from Firenze Italian Road Meals.

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