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Crispy Chicago-Style Pizzas Await at D.L. Mack’s in University Park

Vandelay Hospitality’s newest restaurant opens today, channeling the Windy City

Chicago-style cracker crust pizza at D.L. Mack’s
D.L. Mack’s shies away from deep dish pizza, serving extra crispy Chicago tavern-style cracker crust
D.L. Mack’s

D.L. Mack’s, a sibling restaurant to Hudson House, opens today in the Park Cities, and this classic American tavern is all in on Chicago. Just don’t expect deep dish pizza — D.L. Mack is serving up Chicago-style cracker crust pies instead. This is an extra-crispy crust, so crispy that it’s impossible to fold a slice in half and eat it.

Salads, sandwiches, and bar snack standards like garlic knots round out the menu at the restaurant, from Vandelay Hospitality Group. D.L. Mack’s is an anticipated continuation of the restaurant group’s place-based outposts: Vandelay has previously drawn inspiration from Hollywood with Drake’s, East Coast oysters with Hudson House, and Nashville with Lucky’s Hot Chicken.

Now the 2,400-square-foot space at 6501 Hillcrest Avenue is done up to look like an old-school hangout in the Windy City, complete with 200-year-old reclaimed dark wood floors and a wall of antique brick that goes back to before the Chicago fire of 1871. Wood-paneled walls are decorated with works via The Art Institute of Chicago, and other decor includes tiles from the Chicago Civic Center. A garden patio boasts a retractable roof and wooden benches meant to evoke the Chicago Transit Authority.

Dark leather booths at D.L. Mack’s
Dark leather booths and vintage Chicago artifacts decorate D.L. Mack’s
D.L. Mack’s

Build your own crispy pizza, or go for a special like the Return Of The Mack, topped with meatballs, onion marmalade, and pecorino Romano. Vandelay Hospitality’s famous cheeseburger makes an appearance, as do chicken tenders served with truffle-honey mustard dipping sauce and a Steak Frites Au Poivre entree featuring chunky potato wedges.

Ice-cold martinis and frozen Palomas and Bellinis from Hudson House are shaken up here too, along with a Bees Knees featuring Lilet Blanc limoncello foam. The cocktail menu will also feature an Anejo Old Fashioned, featuring Amaro Montenegro, anejo tequila, and sour cherry bitters.

Pizza, steak frites au poivre, martinis at D.L. Mack’s
Find steak frites au poivre and ice-cold martinis on the approachable menu, in addition to pizza
D.L. Mack’s

Vandelay Hospitality Group’s been steadily adding to its fleet of restaurants, including an expansion to Houston, but the hospitality group has also faced allegations of racism and discriminatory hiring practices in a suit filed this summer by a former Drake’s Hollywood manager. D.L. Mack’s isn’t the only restaurant Vandelay’s been working on recently: Brentwood is expected to bring Aspen-like vibes to Addison.