CHICAGO — Hard to believe, but there was a time when pizza in Chicago was a novelty, not a given, when restaurants specializing in it got more buzz than a Brendan Sodikoff spot and squirrels could feast on a slice without becoming social media sensations.
In the 1930s, Granato’s on Taylor Street was that place. Considered the city’s first official pizzeria by food-writing folks of the time, Granato’s advertised its round pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven, setting it apart from Italian bakeries in the neighborhood selling sheet-pan pizza alongside breads and pastries.
Deep-dish came along in 1943, and as soldiers returned home from World War II, the pizza business picked up. Taverns put out thin, square-cut pizza as bar snacks; patrons indulged.
But pizza really took off in the 1950s, according to Tim Samuelson, the city’s cultural historian.
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