Greg Mohr and Scott Weiner have launched a brand new Roots Handmade Pizza app and will open their third location of Roots to the public at 4pm on Wednesday, October 2 at 1610 N Wells St in The Second City building in Old Town below its recently opened and year-round Utopian Tailgate rooftop bar.
The third location of Roots will be the 18th restaurant and bar opened by Mohr – a Quad Cities native from Rock Island, Illinois – and Weiner who are co-owners of The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group. Roots specializes in Quad Cities style malt crust pizza, housemade mozzarella sticks, signature and build-your-own salads, an all-Midwestern craft beer list, and new craft cocktails from Christian Hetter who was previously the bar manager at The Fifty/50 Group’s cocktail bar The Berkshire Room.
The new Roots Old Town location – which spans 7,500 square feet – will open at 4pm daily for the first week or two. After that Roots will open for weekend brunch and select days for lunch.
New Roots Old Town Location Beverage Program
When the Roots Chicago Avenue location opened back in 2011, it offered a Midwest-only beer list. That tradition continues at the new Second City location which features 20 draft beer lines and 40 bottles and cans – all dedicated to Midwestern craft beer.
Christian Hetter has designed five new specialty Roots cocktails and incorporated three classic cocktails onto the menu. Hetter’s cocktails will be available when the Roots Old Town location opens and will soon be at all the Roots locations.
Hetter’s cocktail menu highlights include:
* I Fought The Claw (and The Claw Won) ~ this is a Painkiller classic cocktail riff made with rum, coconut, and pineapple with a full can of Mango White Claw hard seltzer turned upside down in a 32oz chalice glass served over crushed ice with mint.
* Malted Mule ~ this is a classic Moscow Mule riff made with a housemade brewer’s malt and ginger simple syrup with Ketel One Vodka and mint.
* Q.C. Funk ~ tropical margarita riff with tequila, passion fruit, pineapple, lime, and a tajin-spiced rim.
* Purple Swag ~ Tanqueray Gin, blackberry, elderflower liqueur, lemon, and mint.
In addition to Hetter’s cocktails, Roots’ beverage program includes private single barrel liquor picks from The Fifty/50 Group’s other restaurant and bars, wines by bottle and glass, and its own housemade “Roots Root Beer” in bottles.
New Roots Old Town Location Design Highlights
The Old Town Roots location seats approximately 182 guests with 16 bar seats, 76 seats on the main floor, and seats 90 guests in the side room dubbed “The Bridge Room”. The sleek and modern yet classic Roots Old Town location interior design is from Katherine Ingrassia Design whose other projects include the recently opened Fifty/50 Group spot 90th Meridian as well as Acadia, Prime & Provisions, and Bar Siena.
Brick walls from the late 1880s combined with medium toned wood, lighter tiling, and custom light fixtures can be found throughout the new Roots.
The main room features a 25-foot by 15-foot map of the Quad Cities and the Mississippi River that lights up. “The Bridge Room” features a massive hand-painted art work depicting the Arsenal Bridge that goes over the Lock and Dam on the Mississippi River between Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island, Illinois.
Roots also features six large HD televisions and two large and retractable projection screens that all can show all the NFL and college football games.
New Roots Old Town Location Food
Executive chef/partner Martin Arellano will helm the Roots Old Town kitchen. Arellano was the opening executive chef at Roots West Town location when it opened back in May of 2011.
Arellano was also a “Day One” employee of The Fifty/50 upscale sports bar and comfort food restaurant when it opened back in March of 2008 where he started as a line cook and eventually moved his way up to executive chef.
Before joining The Fifty/50, Arellano was a cook at four-star Spiaggia; Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab; and the private stadium club at Wrigley Field.
Roots specializes in Quad Cities-style malt crust pizza. In addition to Quad Cities style malt crust specialty pizzas (Taco, Sausage, BLT, Garden, etc), Roots has “Chef Series” pizzas where chefs from local restaurants put their spin on Quad Cities style malt crust pizza dough.
Those “Chef Series Specialty Pizzas” include a Korean fried chicken pizza from chef Brian Fisher of Entente, an “Unholy Mole” Bourbon County Stout braised short rib pizza from chef Jesse Valenciana of Goose Island Taproom, and a BBQ pulled pork pizza from chef Charlie McKenna of Lillie’s Q.
Roots also specializes in housemade mozzarella sticks and other appetizers, specialty salads and a build-your-own salad option with over 50 available ingredients, sandwiches, housemade pastas, specialty sausages, sides, desserts, and weekend brunch.
New Roots App
The new Roots app (available to download in the App Store and via Google Play) will allow guests to pay with a credit card, Apple pay, or a Fifty/50 Group gift card for delivery, dine-in and pick-up at all Roots locations. The Roots app is currently available for delivery orders at all three Roots locations.
Guests can also pay at the table with their app and also for curbside pickup (curbside will be available at a later date). Guests will also be able to sign up for, get, and redeem Fifty/50 Group loyalty points on the app.
Everyone who downloads the new Roots app and signs up for The Fifty/50 Group Loyalty Program will receive a $10 off digital coupon to be used on their second order on the app. The first order must be complete by October 21st to earn the $10 off digital certificate.