By Rianne Coale
Loyola University Chicago students gathered for a slice of fresh pizza on Saturday afternoon at the long awaited grand opening of Felice’s restaurant.
Felice’s Roman Style Pizza is a student run business on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. Felice’s is owned and operated by Loyola Limited, a student staffed holding company responsible for four campus enterprises at Loyola.
Sean Connolly, 22, a senior political science major and president of Felice’s is excited to bring a slice of Rome to the surrounding Chicago community after the idea for Felice’s was conceived just over a year ago.
“Anytime you get the chance to see something go from an idea, to the construction process, through the development of the recipes and finally to where we are now is incredible,” Connolly said. “We have over 40 students working for us, and we’re hoping to be a really big hit on campus because we strive to have quality food.”
As the newest edition to the restaurant community at Loyola, Felice’s brings pizza by the ounce to Rogers Park. A slice of pizza averages $2.50 t0 $5, depending on the weight, and a whole pizza averages $10 for cheese and $12 with a topping. There is even a Garanzini pizza – thinly sliced prosciutto and fresh arugula on top marinara sauce – inspired by Loyola president and renowned chef, the Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J. See menu here: menu
With it’s Roman-style inspiration and other Italian food options, the pizza place is commemorative of Loyola University Chicago’s John Felice Rome Center.
“Four out of the seven Loyola Limited founders have been to Rome and studied abroad at some point,” said Jonathan Ferrera, 22, a senior international business major and CEO of Loyola Limited. “When we thought of Felice’s, we decided we wanted to mimic the pizza of Italy and celebrate John Felice.”
The founders aren’t the only ones excited about the opening of Felice’s. Some student employees can’t wait to come to work.
“It’s a really fun place to work and everyone is super nice,” said Caitlin Gass, 19, a sophomore psychology major. “Our bosses are around the same age as us, so it makes the atmosphere more laid back and chill.”
With a focus on freshness, Felice’s hand makes their own dough, bread, and tomato sauce everyday. The Roman-style pizza is what drew some of the Loyola students to the grand opening.
“I’m a big fan of their pepperoni pizza,” said Joe Pomponio, 20, a junior accounting major. “I like it because all you normally see in Chicago is deep dish, and this pizza has a thin crispy crust that doesn’t take away from the flavor of the sauce and meat.”
As a way to draw in more customers, Felice’s is open until 2:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. One customer thought this was a very smart business decision.
“Felice’s will be giving Star Grill a run for it’s money. I would much rather have a piece of pizza in the middle of the night over anything Star Grill might be serving up,” said Michelle Runnfeldt, 19, a bio pre-med major.
Loyola students are not the only customers attracted to the newly open pizza place.
“I live in the neighborhood, so I thought I would stop in and try something,” said Marie Tarallo, 49, a Rogers Park native. “Felice’s will be good for the students who are out all night, but it’s nice to have a new restaurant close by that I can get lunch at during the day.”