Pizzeria Uno as seen in Chicago January 20, 2010. The parent of the Uno Chicago Grill pizza chain has filed for bankruptcy after sales fell and ingredient costs rose, and said it agreed on a restructuring that would give bondholders a controlling stake.  (Photo by John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images)
Uno Pizzeria Would Be Totally Different If It Weren't For A Bad Enchilada
By Arianna Endicott
Uno Pizzeria is best known for its Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, which owners Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo invented before opening the first location in Chicago in 1943 (via Pequod's Pizza). The new style of pizza took off and was adopted by many other pizza places, but it almost didn't become a reality for this reason.
When he moved to Chicago from Texas, Sewell began craving the Mexican food he grew up loving, so after he and Riccardo discussed opening a restaurant, the duo decided to taste-test a few menu options to settle on the cuisine they'd serve. After trying enchiladas, Mental Floss reports that Riccardo became so sick he refused to try any more Mexican food for the restaurant.
Riccardo suggested they pursue pizza, which Sewell liked the taste of, but still wanted something hearty and reminiscent of the enchiladas he craved. The duo is credited with the invention of deep-dish pizza after they used lots of sauce and cheese in the thicker crust to quell the enchilada craving (via Pequod's Pizza).
Sewell and Riccardo opened "The Pizzeria," which doubled as a bar, in the basement of a Chicago mansion in 1943, and while most patrons initially came for the drinks, they were enticed by the pizza and gave it a try. After a second location, they renamed the restaurants "Pizzeria Uno" and "Pizzeria Due," eventually landing on Uno Pizzeria & Grill when the brand went national.