UPDATED — Chicago has its deep dish pizza, but farther west in Illinois along the Iowa border the Quad Cities are known for a particular style of pizza, too.
Wichitans Robert McMullin and Kevin Groom want to bring it here.
McMullin, a Rock Island, Ill., native, says they’re tentatively calling their venture Rock Island Pizza Co., or RIPCO for short.
They’re hoping to lease space at 535 W. Douglas in Delano, though it won’t be ready until January or February.
“I know those are awful months to open,” McMullin says.
The 3,100-square-foot space requires extensive finishing, though.
Occidental Management’s Stephanie Wiens is working on the deal at the Occidental property.
McMullin and Groom are recent marketing graduates from Wichita State University.
The Air Force brought McMullin here in 2003.
“One of the first things I noticed (is) they didn’t have any pizza like we do back home,” he says.
Then, he says, he realized “that style of pizza is specific to the Quad Cities only.”
McMullin describes it as a hand-tossed, malt-enriched crust that is a compromise between thick and thin. The toppings are chopped and ground and then sprinkled with cheese.
“It kind of captures everything and keeps it on the pizza,” McMullin says.
He’s getting the recipe from Wise Guys in Davenport, Iowa.
To see what that pizza is like, check out Roots Handmade Pizza in Chicago (www.rootspizza.com), which McMullin says also got its recipes from Wise Guys.
He says that restaurant is the only one sharing any Quad Cities secrets.
“Otherwise, it is hard to crack anybody for anything.”