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Welcome to Gino’s North. Our reputation is built upon selecting and preparing quality ingredients and serving them to you at affordable prices. The staff strives to make your experience one that you will cherish and inspire your return to Gino’s North.
We are one of the longest continually operated businesses in the idyllic Edgewater community of Chicago. The site of today’s Gino’s North was opened in a former fresh produce store in 1940 by Greek-born, Howard Street restaurateur Frank Meltiades Nichols who dreamed of opening “Chicago’s Most Exquisite Cocktail Lounge”
Nichols named it Snow Drop Cocktail Lounge after the 1880’s statue ‘The Snowdrop” by Swedish-born sculptor Peter Hasselberg of which a large-scale reproduction is still prominently enshrined in the illuminated niche behind the bar. Nichols also commissioned artisan craftsmen to hand-construct the custom-built woodwork, paneled walls and cozy booths, dramatic cover-lit plaster ceiling, and serpentine-shaped bar also still existing today. Other niches behind the bar then featured aquariums and cages with songbirds.
Though Nichols died in 1972, succeeding owners Paul Wenger and Georgiana Schinagl strove to maintain his dream of an elegant lounge and supper club. In the 1990’s, it was renamed Gino’s North and the original steak, chicken, and lobster fare were replaced with authentic Italian specialties. Longtime cucinare Peggy Gelsomino, who only recently retired after nearly 40 years, lovingly melded our customer base of neighbors, friends, and visitors into the family that we know today.
Our ‘best kept secret’ moniker stems from our previous non-descript exterior façade that precluded many a daily passer-by from knowing of our existence. In 2014, the current co-owner and area resident Steve Kilian installed the now present and more welcoming streetscape façade and also restored interior furnishings to their original luster.
Several years ago, while streamlining kitchen operations to better serve our customers, we ceased offering deep-dish pizza in order to exclusively focus on the time-tested Chicago favorite. Our ever-popular thin crust pizza is still made with Peggy’s original recipe.
Our handcrafted pizzas are individually made to order on traditional wooden pizza peels from kitchen-made dough and pizza sauce, and fresh ingredients. We pay homage to pizza’s historical roots in Chicago by serving ‘square-cut’ slices and also serve Royal Crown Cola, a staple of Chicago pizzerias since the 1960’s, as any local pizza aficionado will attest.
In addition to pizza, we offer an exceptional selection of pasta dishes with kitchen-made tomato sauce, sandwiches and salads. All of our meals are cooked to order to bring you the freshest flavor. We have a full bar with affordable wines to pair with your favorite meal.
We’re proud of our Edgewater community and gladly support our neighbors ,Sacred Heart Schools, the Chicago Mosaic School and Edgewater Artists in Motion Gallery, and the annual Edgewater Arts Festival.
On behalf of our entire staff, we hope you’ll enjoy the environment of classic elegance seldom seen in contemporary establishments along with our delicious meals and exquisite cocktails. Welcome to Gino’s North, Chicago’s Best Kept Secret, where you’re always among friends.
~ Gino’s North proprietors,
Steve Kilian and Stephen Mendoza