Heavy Hops Ep. 018: Pandemic Pizza (Derrick Tung/Paulie Gee’s)

A few Fridays ago Alexi was leaving his apartment to pick up pizza from a neighborhood restaurant.  At 7:30pm there were three cars double parked on the block, all delivering pies to neighbors.  The coincidence begged the question: is Pizza pandemic proof?

Restaurants have to be creative during the pandemic.  With local and statewide restrictions changing – sometimes at odds with each other – and a complete absence of national leadership on the issue – it’s been impossible for restaurants to operate in any way close to “normal”.  Insightful questions brought up during our recent Q&A, combined with our collective hospitality experience, invited further exploration of this topic.

Joining us to discuss restaurant operation during the pandemic is Derrick Tung, the owner of Paulie Gee’s in Logan Square.  We learn about Derrick’s entry into restaurants and discuss their pickup window and reluctance to opening up for indoor dinning.  A key to Paulie Gee’s ability to stay afloat is linked to Derrick and his management teams desire to listen to its staff while encouraging their creative and operational input. We also discuss vegan pizza and ask if the customer is always right (bet you can guess the answer to that!).  Finally, Derrick spills the beans on the second Paulie Gee’s location in Wicker Park and learn how he and his team is approaching expansion during a pandemic.

Beers Enjoyed:
Logsdon Peche’N Brett (2018)

Paulie Gee’s Links:
Official Website

Heavy Hops:

Episode Art and HH Logo By: Bryn Gleason

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