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Armand's gone
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  • Armand's gone

    Post #1 - July 4th, 2009, 1:25 pm
    Post #1 - July 4th, 2009, 1:25 pm Post #1 - July 4th, 2009, 1:25 pm
    I just drove by Armand's pizzeria in Elmwood park. A handwritten sign in the window says "thanks for 53 years". I thought it also mentioned to look for them an other locations. After calling their Elmwood park location, I heard a curt message indicating that the location was closed and to try their Elmhurst and St. Charles location. Does anyone have any insight into this development. 53 years at one location, and not much of an exit. After eating this pizza for about 42 years I am in shock.
  • Post #2 - July 4th, 2009, 2:53 pm
    Post #2 - July 4th, 2009, 2:53 pm Post #2 - July 4th, 2009, 2:53 pm
    St charles is closed, and i really didnt think much of there pizza after eating it for about 30 years.
  • Post #3 - July 4th, 2009, 4:45 pm
    Post #3 - July 4th, 2009, 4:45 pm Post #3 - July 4th, 2009, 4:45 pm
    This is the place that opened a location in Arlington Heights in the last couple years, too, right? Is that location still there?

    I went to the AH location once, a couple months after it opened. The person who recommended it to me had been going to the Elmwood Park location for decades, and said it was their favorite thin crust pizza and raved about the stuffed artichoke. I wasn't that impressed with either. I don't remember much about the pizza, and the stuffed artichoke was....well, unless I misunderstood what a stuffed artichoke was (it was my first and last)....it was just a deep fried artichoke. Not stuffed with anything as far as I could tell.
  • Post #4 - July 4th, 2009, 7:12 pm
    Post #4 - July 4th, 2009, 7:12 pm Post #4 - July 4th, 2009, 7:12 pm
    The EP location had very good thin crust pizza. Bummer.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #5 - July 5th, 2009, 9:47 pm
    Post #5 - July 5th, 2009, 9:47 pm Post #5 - July 5th, 2009, 9:47 pm
    Armand's Elmwood Park location meant much to many of us who grew up around there. The thin crust was always very good, and it was one of the few places that always had fresh basil on hand for the pie, regardless of season.

    AH location is OK, and still serves the excellent roasted melrose pepper salad while waiting for your pizza to be baked.

    Still, the passing of any restaurant that endured for 53 years at its original location deserved better being said of it than what has been posted here so far, IMHO...
    Charter member of PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals
  • Post #6 - July 5th, 2009, 9:56 pm
    Post #6 - July 5th, 2009, 9:56 pm Post #6 - July 5th, 2009, 9:56 pm
    I lived in Oak Park and worked along North Ave. in Maywood/Unincorporated Cook County and had my first pie from the Elmwood Park location in the mid-1970s as a recommendation from 'old school' Italians living in the Melrose Park/Elmwood Park communities and to this day I consider the pizzas I've had from there over the years to be the consistently best thin crusts I've ever eaten in the city/area.
  • Post #7 - July 6th, 2009, 1:40 am
    Post #7 - July 6th, 2009, 1:40 am Post #7 - July 6th, 2009, 1:40 am
    johnnies wrote:I just drove by Armand's pizzeria in Elmwood park. A handwritten sign in the window says "thanks for 53 years". I thought it also mentioned to look for them an other locations. After calling their Elmwood park location, I heard a curt message indicating that the location was closed and to try their Elmhurst and St. Charles location. Does anyone have any insight into this development. 53 years at one location, and not much of an exit. After eating this pizza for about 42 years I am in shock.

    As for insight into the development, I'd say probably a combination of changing demographics in the area and rumors of mob ties, be they true or false.

    TRIPOWER wrote:St charles is closed, and i really didnt think much of there pizza after eating it for about 30 years.

    Gotta ask then, why'd you eat it for 30 years?? :?

    Also, the St. Charles location didn't close, they just changed the name, still the same food and same pizza (and I'm with you, it wasn't all that special). Same with the Elmhurst and Arlington Heights locations. Apparently they're still owned by the same people. :? :? Not sure why they'd want to ditch their brand equity like that unless they felt like it wasn't worth much further out in the suburbs or actually had a negative connotation out there? I never did figure all that out.
    Last edited by Drover on July 6th, 2009, 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #8 - July 6th, 2009, 12:48 pm
    Post #8 - July 6th, 2009, 12:48 pm Post #8 - July 6th, 2009, 12:48 pm
    Closing up shop after 53 years makes me wonder if something else drove this decsion. Changing demographics I am not sure about. Pizza places in Chicago thrive in pretty much every location. I think perhaps the sign offering the building and lot next door for sale may be the reason--selling property is an easier way to make money than rolling out pizza.
  • Post #9 - July 6th, 2009, 1:02 pm
    Post #9 - July 6th, 2009, 1:02 pm Post #9 - July 6th, 2009, 1:02 pm
    http://www.pioneerlocal.com/elmwoodpark ... s1.article

    Some info.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #10 - July 6th, 2009, 1:20 pm
    Post #10 - July 6th, 2009, 1:20 pm Post #10 - July 6th, 2009, 1:20 pm
    johnnies wrote:Closing up shop after 53 years makes me wonder if something else drove this decsion. Changing demographics I am not sure about. Pizza places in Chicago thrive in pretty much every location. I think perhaps the sign offering the building and lot next door for sale may be the reason--selling property is an easier way to make money than rolling out pizza.

    Are there a lot of pizza places in Little Village? How about Grand Crossing? Lawndale? I hear what you say about selling out as a likely explanation, but pizza places certainly have come and gone on account demographic changes too. And that area is a-changin'. The newspaper article in the URL provided above suggests demographics played some part of it as the owners acknowledge business is declining.
  • Post #11 - July 6th, 2009, 2:03 pm
    Post #11 - July 6th, 2009, 2:03 pm Post #11 - July 6th, 2009, 2:03 pm
    Dang! Armand's on grand avenue was a frequent haunt in the halcyonic days of the NAV MAN's metabolism.

    Born in Melrose Park and bred in Elmwood Park (by way of Berwyn), Armand's was a staple all-seasons treat for the NAV even when I lived as far north as Park Ridge.

    Though now in the west burbs, the Elmhurst location will still serve.
    Cheetos are my favorite snack atm.
  • Post #12 - July 6th, 2009, 8:25 pm
    Post #12 - July 6th, 2009, 8:25 pm Post #12 - July 6th, 2009, 8:25 pm
    TRIPOWER wrote:St charles is closed, and i really didnt think much of there pizza after eating it for about 30 years.

    Gotta ask then, why'd you eat it for 30 years?? :?

    I grew up eating armand's pizza every friday night untill i moved out of my parents house at 21, If I would stop by my grandmas house who lived a couple of blocks away from armands she would order a armand's pizza's, and I have some family who moved out to st.charles and for family parties they would order armands pizza, nothing wrong with the pizza just think that its overrated but in the elmwood park area you dont have that many other opition besides what geo's, caponie's, spizzico's, jim and petes, salerno's?
  • Post #13 - July 13th, 2009, 11:53 am
    Post #13 - July 13th, 2009, 11:53 am Post #13 - July 13th, 2009, 11:53 am
    Armand's was very important to our family. We were (large extended family) Elmwood Park born and raised (except for those born in Italy). We were going to Armand's when it was called Victory Pizza. The original name because of our victory in WWII. In the old day's it was only pizza but it became Italian-American place quite a few years ago. I must have been 7 or 8 when I first went there and calculating my age now it must have been when it first opened. I still think that the pizza was fantastic. The pizza in the Elmhurst location did not taste the same to me. This really saddens me. It saddened me when Biancalanna's went "Banquets" also. I guess if you live long enough stuff will change. SIGH
  • Post #14 - July 13th, 2009, 7:55 pm
    Post #14 - July 13th, 2009, 7:55 pm Post #14 - July 13th, 2009, 7:55 pm
    Muttster wrote: It saddened me when Biancalanna's went "Banquets" also.


    Yeah, me too... :cry:
    Charter member of PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals
  • Post #15 - April 28th, 2010, 4:19 pm
    Post #15 - April 28th, 2010, 4:19 pm Post #15 - April 28th, 2010, 4:19 pm
    Reopened on a much smaller scale

    Armand's Pizzeria Express
    7650 W North Ave, Elmwood Park
    (708) 456-5200
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #16 - April 28th, 2010, 10:44 pm
    Post #16 - April 28th, 2010, 10:44 pm Post #16 - April 28th, 2010, 10:44 pm
    Panther, do you know how long they have been open?
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #17 - April 28th, 2010, 11:25 pm
    Post #17 - April 28th, 2010, 11:25 pm Post #17 - April 28th, 2010, 11:25 pm
    Cogito wrote:Panther, do you know how long they have been open?

    Nope. Just heard from My Bride who brought home a menu from one of her co-workers.

    Doesn't sound like things are going well though. They have a menu from this location available online (identical to my copy) and you can scratch the sandwiches.

    Also heard the place is small with only 4 tables.

    I am going to give the pizza a try sometime.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #18 - April 28th, 2010, 11:38 pm
    Post #18 - April 28th, 2010, 11:38 pm Post #18 - April 28th, 2010, 11:38 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Cogito wrote:Panther, do you know how long they have been open?

    Nope. Just heard from My Bride who brought home a menu from one of her co-workers.

    Doesn't sound like things are going well though. They have a menu from this location available online (identical to my copy) and you can scratch the sandwiches.

    Also heard the place is small with only 4 tables.

    I am going to give the pizza a try sometime.

    What this suggests to me is that so much of their business was carryout that it wasn't worth the expense of maintaining a full restaurant any more.
  • Post #19 - April 29th, 2010, 8:26 am
    Post #19 - April 29th, 2010, 8:26 am Post #19 - April 29th, 2010, 8:26 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Cogito wrote:Panther, do you know how long they have been open?

    Nope. Just heard from My Bride who brought home a menu from one of her co-workers.

    Doesn't sound like things are going well though. They have a menu from this location available online (identical to my copy) and you can scratch the sandwiches.

    Also heard the place is small with only 4 tables.

    I am going to give the pizza a try sometime.


    This is not a full service restaurant, it is pick up and delivery only. The tables are there for you dine in if you choose, there are paper plates available but your pizza comes to you in a box as if you were to carry out. The sandwiches are on hold now, because they want to perfect the pizzas. I went there the other day and while they were just opened a day or so, the pizza was extremely good.

    What makes you say that it doesn't sound like things are going well if you haven't been there?
  • Post #20 - April 29th, 2010, 9:05 am
    Post #20 - April 29th, 2010, 9:05 am Post #20 - April 29th, 2010, 9:05 am
    The Food Diva wrote:What makes you say that it doesn't sound like things are going well if you haven't been there?

    I am sorry! I was under the impression that they had been open a while and decided to remove the sandwiches from the menu.

    I have also heard that the pizza is most excellent (from reputation and recent reports)! I am eager to give it a try.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #21 - April 29th, 2010, 9:26 am
    Post #21 - April 29th, 2010, 9:26 am Post #21 - April 29th, 2010, 9:26 am
    Panther in the Den - :D They've only been open a little over a week now. Its actually a franchise from the original Armand's. Its called Armand's Express, this is their first one and they are using it as a prototype for potential investors.

    I'm just glad to have Armand's back in Elmwood Park where they belong.

    Also, upthread mentioned that the St. Charles location was closed, while it is closed as "Armands" its still a pizza parlor and its is the same owner as before, he still uses Armands as his supplier, not quite sure why he dropped the name though. The guy that owns it, used to run the kitchen at Armands Elmwood Park about 20 years.....so you're getting the real stuff out there.
  • Post #22 - May 17th, 2010, 2:00 pm
    Post #22 - May 17th, 2010, 2:00 pm Post #22 - May 17th, 2010, 2:00 pm
    Got a large sausage & mushroom pizza and a bowl of minestrone yesterday. The soup was lousy. No body, flavorless, teo much chopped celery. The pizza was mediocre. The main problem is they put all the shrooms on top of the cheese, and they got dried out and rubbery, hard to chew. For $30, I can order the same thing from other local spots, get better food, and pocket a ten spot. I think their "local notoriety" has gone to their head. They are way over-priced, IMO.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #23 - May 17th, 2010, 2:07 pm
    Post #23 - May 17th, 2010, 2:07 pm Post #23 - May 17th, 2010, 2:07 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    The Food Diva wrote:What makes you say that it doesn't sound like things are going well if you haven't been there?

    I am sorry! I was under the impression that they had been open a while and decided to remove the sandwiches from the menu.

    I have also heard that the pizza is most excellent (from reputation and recent reports)! I am eager to give it a try.

    I did stop by last week and the pizza is excellent! Had a sausage, roasted red pepper, onion and garlic. Delish! The crust had a nice thickness with some browning.

    Also I did ask about the sandwiches and they are permanently off of the menu but the meatball might return.

    Restaurant, nice and clean cafe atmosphere and the staff was great!
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #24 - May 17th, 2010, 2:45 pm
    Post #24 - May 17th, 2010, 2:45 pm Post #24 - May 17th, 2010, 2:45 pm
    I got a pizza there the other day. I thought it was OK. Didn't find it particularly expensive. I prefer Old World, a few blocks east.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #25 - May 17th, 2010, 3:10 pm
    Post #25 - May 17th, 2010, 3:10 pm Post #25 - May 17th, 2010, 3:10 pm
    Cogito wrote:For $30, I can order the same thing from other local spots, get better food, and pocket a ten spot.


    I would love your picks for pizza in the greater OPRF/FP/EP area, Cogito - I can't find anything consistent (other than Freddy's, of course, but which closes early), and am now officially done with Salerno's. Closest thing to good are flatbreads at Marion Street and Trattoria 225, neither of which deliver.

    I'll definitely give Armand's a try to better educate myself on options north and west of me.
  • Post #26 - May 17th, 2010, 5:40 pm
    Post #26 - May 17th, 2010, 5:40 pm Post #26 - May 17th, 2010, 5:40 pm
    Santander - You so read my mind. I desperately need a reliable go-to place for pizza in the greater Oak Park area.

    We got delivery last night from Armand's new takeout/delivery outpost on North Avenue. I was underwhelmed. Thin crust of half cheese, half sausage (which may have been house made?) was just alright. The sausage was tasty but the pie was too crispy -- as in overcooked.

    We also recently ordered a couple of times from Jim & Pete's and on our most recent order, we tried their double dough, hoping that it would somehow be an improvement over the "just ok" thin crust we had on our order prior to that. Alas, we thought it was worse, and while not horrible, it just didn't make me happy, and neither did Armand's, and so our quest begins....

    I'll admit that I haven't sampled from that many places around here and I'm sure I'm in the dark on a few. Currently, I'm most satisfied with Homemade Pizza Company, which I've found to be tasty and cooks up well per their instructions. That said, I'm not always in the mood to heat up my own pizza (I know, I'm lazy) and I really could use some good recommendations for this general area. Thanks!
  • Post #27 - May 17th, 2010, 6:45 pm
    Post #27 - May 17th, 2010, 6:45 pm Post #27 - May 17th, 2010, 6:45 pm
    Our usual pizza order is a thin crust pepperoni from Spizzico's. Even though they always say 1 hour, I usually get it within 20 minutes. Once, I ordered before I left work (typically a 15-20 minute drive) and they beat me to my house. We order from Geppettos at work sometimes. Their delivery at lunch can be slow. Not sure how that compares to dinner. We should probably order around a bit more, too. I usually end up making pizza when we want some as I usually have dough in the fridge.
  • Post #28 - May 17th, 2010, 6:49 pm
    Post #28 - May 17th, 2010, 6:49 pm Post #28 - May 17th, 2010, 6:49 pm
    Santander wrote:
    Cogito wrote:For $30, I can order the same thing from other local spots, get better food, and pocket a ten spot.


    I would love your picks for pizza in the greater OPRF/FP/EP area, Cogito - I can't find anything consistent (other than Freddy's, of course, but which closes early), and am now officially done with Salerno's. Closest thing to good are flatbreads at Marion Street and Trattoria 225, neither of which deliver.

    I'll definitely give Armand's a try to better educate myself on options north and west of me.

    Santa, try this place. I consistently get good pizzas for much less than Armand's, and the minestrone is much better. At least you don't feel ripped off. I'm in MP now, but I doubt they'll deliver to OP, but if you want to pickup, it's a quick drive down Grand. They have a daily special, a 14" pizza with one topping and a liter of pop, for only $8.98. With tax and delivery, that's still only $13. Where can you get a decent pizza for that kind of money? Side by side, you would be hard-pressed to pick out N&B vs Armand's.

    Nick & Bruno's
    10121 W. Grand
    Franklin Park
    847-451-0030
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #29 - May 17th, 2010, 6:53 pm
    Post #29 - May 17th, 2010, 6:53 pm Post #29 - May 17th, 2010, 6:53 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:Also I did ask about the sandwiches and they are permanently off of the menu but the meatball might return.

    When I talked to them yesterday, they had everything available on their menu, except a few chicken dishes.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #30 - May 17th, 2010, 7:10 pm
    Post #30 - May 17th, 2010, 7:10 pm Post #30 - May 17th, 2010, 7:10 pm
    Thanks very much to Cogito, rehorn, and Marmish for the recs. I'll post any followup findings.

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