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The Wait is Nearly Over: Primo’s Pizza Reopens Monday

unityTOPinprogressJewel_01The Wait is Nearly Over: ChamberAd_01Primo’s Pizza Reopens Monday

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 29, 2015)

Monday, Aug. 31 at 4pm. That is when the magic of Primo’s Pizza begins again.

Since 1968 people in the Oak Park area have enjoyed the greasy delicious goodness of Primo’s Pizza. But the tradition of great taste was put on pause last May when a fire destroyed the kitchen.

“We had four walk in coolers and two freezers and they’d been in there since 1984. I had HVAC guys out the week before because I thought I smelled something funny, like smoke. Pledge_side_blueThey said it was okay and to just keep an eye on it. Then on May 1 was the fire,” said Primo’s proprietor Jon Dabira.

Dabira said the fire started after hours in the area of the coolers. The fire marshal investigation took four months and Dabira said they were unable to nail now the source but speculate it was likely electrical. “I don’t know what caused it exactly, but lots of fingers were pointed. There were investigator locks on the door for over four months before we could even go in.”

It took over a year to be ready for Monday’s grand reopening.

“After four months we were finally allowed to get in. Everything was so old when we got in. We couldn’t even do anything then because the landlord had to get the building fixed. The landlord had to get the roof repaired and the outside repainted and some other work done SCOTT WRIGHT AD basic tallbefore we could even get in there. The landlord’s contractor took four months,” he said.

“We took two months, but then it just sat there due to the inspectors.”

Dabira said that the business moved into their current location in 1984, and at the time the building was up to code. “Because the business closed down and reopened the landlord had to bring everything up to today’s code and all the new codes just like you’re opening a new place. We basically had to start over like a new business has to.”

Finally the wait is over.

Dabira is the second owner of Primo’s, which was opened in 1968 by Mike Soave. “I started in dinos02sidelogo32002 as a dishwasher,” Dabira said. “Then I started making salads and Mr. Soave asked me one day if I ever made pizza before. I told him I used to work for another pizza place but that I probably wasn’t trained right. He taught me himself how to make the pizza.

“We do everything from scratch here, nothing frozen. We make our own sauce from Mr. Soave’s family recipe. We cook our own ground beef. We cook our own bacon. There is an art to making pizza and doing it right.”

He worked his way up to manager and when Soave was ready to retire at the end of 2013, Dabira was given the first option to buy the business. Soave is still the landlord. “He still likes to come in and see how things are going. This was his baby and he wants to see it succeed.”

There are rumors out there about the fire and about the product that leave Dabira and Soave disappointed. Primo’s first location had a fire in 1984, which how they ended up in their current location. That fire, over 30 years ago, was inspected as was the 2014 fire with nothing seed020_heather_coleman_vosssuspicious in the results.

As for the pizza, they’re still using the same recipe and the same quality ingredients. Those who have doubts about this can find out for themselves starting Monday night.

“Everything at Primo’s is good,” Dabira said. “For me, I like our deep fried chicken. That’s one of my favorites. And the ribs. If I make a pizza I like pepperoni, bacon, jalapeno and the three cheese blend.” They also offer salads, pasta, wing dings and other items.

“It would be ridiculous to change such a well-known recipe that already has so many customers,” he said.

Primos is located at 10100 W. 9 Mile in Oak Park. Phone number is 248-268-1335. Note this is a new phone number. Their website is


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