Uno Due Go No

Fast-casual Italian concept Spezzo courageously overcomes Plano deep-dish snub

Italian concept Spezzo courageously overcomes Plano deep-dish snub

Photo courtesy of Spezzo

It turns out there may not have been as many local Chicago-style deep-dish pizza fans as anticipated: The Uno Dué Go in Plano, which closed in July, will be refashioned into a fast-casual restaurant with an Italian-American menu called Spezzo.

Rob Goldblatt of FGR Food Group, which opened the restaurant one year ago, says that the new concept will open by the end of the year. He doesn't entirely blame the questionable popularity of deep-dish pizza.

"I think people also may have found the 'marketplace' setup confusing," he says. "They didn't react favorably. We tried to make some changes, but it didn't catch on."

Uno Due Go would not be the first place to attempt a marketplace format, which is a little like a food court with different stations for different items. Il Grano, a nearly identical concept, opened in 1997 at Parker Road and the Dallas North Tollway, with food stations and an Italian theme. It managed to survive 10 years. (The space is now an On the Border.)

And Goldblatt says they're keeping the Uno Due Go open at DFW Airport, where its quick-snack personality makes a better fit for customers on the go.

Spezzo's fast-casual mode means that customers will order at the counter, and the food will be brought to their table. "We think a fast casual Italian concept is a niche that is not being met," he says. They've assembled a team that includes design group Plan B; restaurant consultant Mark Brezinski; and Tom Fleming, chef-owner at Crossroads Diner, as consulting chef.
"We'll have meatballs, salads and sandwiches. It's a nice little fast-casual menu," Goldblatt says. "The name is Spezzo, but the tagline will say 'rustic Italian pronto.'"
They'll make use of their deck oven and offer a line of pizzas — but it's ciao to deep dish.
"Uno is well-known, and we saw some Chicagoans who were very passionate about deep dish, but it was a tough sell," he says.