A Café Inspired by the Seasons Arrives in River North

Chef Joel Reno and Andrea Reno will debut their restaurant Pistores Pizza & Pastry this spring on N. Wells Street.
A Café Inspired by the Seasons Arrives in River North
Photo: Joel and Andrea Reno
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Just in time for spring, Chicago locals Chef Joel Reno and Andrea Reno will open Pistores Pizza & Pastry in River North. Described as a café inspired by the seasons, the restaurant will debut at 546 N. Wells Street by late April or early May.

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Pistores Pizza & Pastry will bring food featuring Chef Joel Reno’s American sensibilities with fresh ingredients and European Influence. Pizza will be the star, but Reno also plans to offer a seasonal menu of entrees and shareables.

“Pistores is a culmination of everything Andrea and I love to do,” Chef Reno shared over a phone interview with What Now Chicago. And for Reno, pizza is all about the dough.

“We’re doing a hybrid New York-style,” he explained, “but we’re using some different cheeses. I’m doing something unique, but there’s nothing fancy about it. The focus is really the dough.” Reno, who brings over 30 years of experience to the table, says his dough has been in development for a decade, and over that time he’s helped a few other pizza restaurants get started. Reno is planning to serve Detroit-style pizza as well.

To accompany the pizza and seasonal bites, the 58-seat café will house a full bar of classic cocktails with a creative twist, local beer, and fresh juices. Pistores will also feature a wine program highlighting eclectic, approachable wines from around the world.

Part of the appeal of the location, Reno says, has to do with the size. In addition to the café, the N. Wells Street space offered an extra 2,200 square-feet to accommodate a state-of-the-art pastry kitchen.

“Our pastry element is a fantastic assortment of fresh balanced crowd pleasers including a cake department with our delicious gelatos and coffee to top it off,” Reno shared. Petit cakes, wedding cakes, and other pastries will be available for purchase from pastry cases. Andrea Reno has a pastry background as well and previously owned a cake shop, Sweets Cake Shoppe, in her native Honduras.

In an area with lots of sports bars, Pistores will offer a different vibe. “Andrea and I are long-time River North residents,” Reno said. “We love River North and that’s where we wanted to work and add to the culture.” On the corner of Ohio and N. Wells, Pistores will join a growing crowd of new bars and restaurants. “In the warmer days [the area] has really great foot traffic,” Reno added.

Pistores’ interior is being designed by Siren Betty Design. Large garage doors open into the seating area, and Reno says the café will be able to accommodate outdoor seating as well.

When it opens, Pistores’ hours of operation will be Tuesday-Sunday 8AM to 10:30PM. Keep an eye on Pistores Pizza & Pastry’s social media for updates.

Photo: Joel and Andrea Reno
Photo: Joel and Andrea Reno
Photo: Joel and Andrea Reno

Eve Payne

Eve Payne is a freelance writer with an MFA in poetry from Syracuse University. In 2019, she received the Leonard Brown Prize for her poetry, which has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, The Adroit Journal, Nashville Review, and RHINO.
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