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Chicago-based deep dish pizza joint Lou Malnati’s got its start in 1971 as a small pizzeria in Lincolnwood, IL (ironically, the Italian pizza joint opened on St. Patrick’s Day), and over the last 50 years has established 69 locations between Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Indiana.
Still with a relatively small footprint in Arizona — which is home to only four locations compared to Illinois’s 57 — it looks like the family-owned pizzeria will soon be opening a fifth AZ spot. The restaurant has filed for permits at 3510 Baseline Road in Mesa’s Dana Park, neighboring fast-casual chains Panda Express and Chipotle, as well as Yogurtland and Nekter Juice Bar.
A representative for the restaurant did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and no opening date has been announced, but Lou Malnati’s has a special place in its heart for Arizona — it opened its first out-of-state pizzeria in Phoenix back in 2016 — so we’d like to believe it’s planning to spread some of that cheesy, saucy love all across the state.