Chicago’s sandwich scene is about to get a little more crowded: on Friday, Delaware chain Capriotti’s will officially open its first Illinois location at 180 North Wabash Avenue with local restaurateurs Craig Garofalo and Andy Poch at the helm.
As the two made plans to open their own restaurant, Garofalo lobbied hard for Capriotti’s, which he grew up eating as a child in Wilmington. He got Poch on board by driving him across the border to visit all three of Capriotti’s Wisconsin locations. By the end of the road trip, Poch was sold, and the two bought franchising rights for downtown Chicago.
The restaurant soft-opens this week, but the first 100 people to queue up for the grand opening on October 28 will get free 9-inch Bobbie sandwiches for a year. The Bobbie is something of a signature sammy at Capriotti’s, with turkey, mayo, homemade stuffing, and cranberry sauce (“Thanksgiving on a bun,” per Garofalo) melding into a sweet-savory mess on a soft roll. In addition to a slew of proprietary soups and cookies, Capriotti’s also makes its own meatballs and roasts its turkey and beef in-house. “We do it overnight, low and slow,” says Poch. “That’s how Capriotti’s started and what made them stand out from the beginning.”
If you develop a taste for cranberry sauce and stuffing on your sandwiches, take note: Garofalo and Poch already have plans to open a second location on Fulton Market by summer 2017.