Aurelio’s fit for the family

By Dan Patton | Managing Editor

Aurelio’s Pizza on Michigan Avenue — the latest addition to a 55 year-old, 41-store chain that spans six states — is the only bar and restaurant within punting distance of Soldier Field that dedicates every square inch of its space to fans of all ages.

“This is a family pizzeria and an Official Bears Headquarters Bar,” explains GM Joe Caruso. “There’s a big focus on service and quality.”

Kids, retirees, moms, dads, and residents of every generation get the camaraderie going within the flat-screened walls of the large main bar before the coin is even tossed on Sunday afternoons. They make a perfect compliment to the parties in the adjoining private dining area, where an 80-inch TV is visible from nearly every corner of the room. Additionally, the venue’s indoor and outdoor patios swell up all day long with fans trekking between the stadium and the Roosevelt CTA station.

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Arkush and Williams at Aurelio’s

Win or lose, the Bears always give them plenty to talk about, especially at Aurelio’s, where “The Score” football expert Hub Arkush frequently discusses the action with former Bears Olin Kreutz and James “Big Cat” Williams during live broadcasts on 670 a.m. before and after the game.

For those who catch the 9 a.m. show, the menu features a mini-breakfast calzone called The Calabrese. For everyone else, there are game day pizzas, hot dogs, hamburgers and sliders that the kitchen cooks up every Thursday, Sunday and Saturday of the season. The traditionally robust, custom grilled thin crust pies that made the place famous are available year round.

IMG_3164To wash it all down, there’s a huge wine selection and more than 30 beers. Joe Aurelio, son and namesake of Aurelio’s founder, recommends the restaurant’s own Batch 59, brewed by Two Brothers in Warrenville, IL.

“It’s a French Ale and it’s got a little bit of a caramel undertone to it,” he says.

With 6.9% alcohol, his advice that “it pairs very well with all of our food” should be part of any fan’s game plan.

PHOTO GALLERY: Bears versus Cardinals at Aurelio’s

1212 S Michigan Ave · (312) 374-4459 · www.aureliospizza.com

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