Q&A with Joe Calabrese, chef and owner of Zia’s Trattoria, about his new venture in Norwood Park called Zia’s Social, opening in November
Zia’s Social renovations
After 24 years as a staple of the Edison Park dining scene, Zia’s Trattoria will be closing its doors this fall, with executive chef and co-owner Joe Calabrese and his team shifting their attention to a new venture called Zia’s Social, which is set to open this November in the old Iron Horse Ale House building down the street at 6158 N. Northwest Highway in Norwood Park.
Exciting times for sure. Calabrese, the Zagat Award-winning chef, took time to chat with The Real Park Ridge about creating a buzz in his old neighborhood, the character of his new building, and the excitement about an updated, evolving menu.
Q: You have a history in Norwood Park. Tell us about how your roots played a role in this move down Northwest Highway after 24 years in Edison Park.
A: I grew up in Norwood Park, met the love of my life in Norwood Park, attended Taft High School, and have maintained friendships with all my Norwood Park buddies. I’m very excited to own a business in this great neighborhood.
Q: Describe what the atmosphere will be like at Zia’s Social and who you’ll be catering to.
A: Zia’s Social will have an open-air, fresh, urban setting. We plan to have a comfortable, warm setting both inside and out. It will be a great place to dine, listen to live music and socialize with friends, family or business associates. We’ll strive to make it a great place for a date night, a group dinner or larger special event.
Our design will incorporate all the great attributes of the Old Iron House Ale House, such as the wood-burning oven, the beautiful bar, the stage and, of course, the beautiful bow-truss ceilings.
Q: The old Iron Horse Ale House has so much character, and your renovations will be adding a lot of fun design elements. What has you most excited about the potential of the new space?
A: Our design at Zia’s Social will incorporate all the great attributes of the Old Iron House Ale House, such as the wood-burning oven, the beautiful bar, the stage and, of course, the beautiful bow-truss ceilings.
Q: We feel safe in saying that your expansive outdoor patio will be pretty popular next spring/summer. Can you describe what it’ll offer and what makes it so unique to the area?
A: Zia’s Social will have one of the larger outdoor patios in the area with a sizable covered area/three-season room, outdoor bar and umbrella tables.
Q: Tell us a bit about what the Zia’s Social menu will look like and your plans for the wood-burning pizza oven.
A: The Zia’s Social menu will consist of several Zia’s classics along with many new items and wood-fired pizzas. Many items will work as individual dishes or shared plates. We have a brand-new, fun dessert menu planned too.
Q: Finish this sentence: Zia’s Social will be your ideal spot for…
A: Date nights, family gatherings, business meetings, special events both large and small, drinks at the bar, and outdoor dining. In other words, Zia’s Social will be a great place to socialize.