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January 12, 2009

New owners @ 331 - Chicago-style pizza?

While neither the menu nor the name are changing under the new owners of Rochester’s 331 Bar and Grill, expect one difference.


A Chicago accent.

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Two brothers — Tom and Jimmy Karabatsos — moved from Chicago to Rochester to take control of the eatery at 7386 Airport View Drive S.W. on Jan. 1.


The duo, each with more than 30 years experience in the food industry, bought 331 from developer Andy Chafoulias after hearing about it through a mutual friend.


“Rochester is the perfect small big city,” says Tom Karabatsos. “We are strong believers in supporting community.”


While the brothers intend to leave the menu unchanged at first, future additions might bring some of the Windy City to Rochester.


“We’d like to bring Chicago-style pizza and hot dogs to 331,” he said.


This is the second time Chafoulias has sold the restaurant.


Chafoulias first started the restaurant under the name of The Hangar, then he sold it in 2006. He bought it back in February last year and relaunched it as 331. 

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That'll be cool if they do make the TRUE Chicago Pizza. I had it for the first time last summer down there, WOW, it was a MEAL!

So do they have a plan or a date? Or are you reporting on them "wanting" to do this?

PLEASE change the menu. Why would anyone drive out to the airport for the same food you can get in town? I hope they make it into something worth driving to!

2cents, do you ever visit any stores at Shoppes on Maine? if so, 331 is only 4 miles further south. you're making it sound like 331 is in the middle of nowhere but, let's face it, Rochester is not that large. if you wanted to get from the 55th St NW/Hwy 52 intersection down to 331 it would take you 18 minutes (thanks Google maps!) and you would only encounter 1 traffic light and would likely never have slowdown traffic to deal with.
i'm not trying to attack you or anyone else, i'm just posting this because i don't get why people thinking that driving 15, 20, or even 25 minutes to get somewhere is life-ending.
it reminds me of the discussion people had that claimed they NEEDED a Best Buy on the south side of town because driving "all the way" to the north one (9 miles via highway) was such a bother.
anyway, i dont mean to pick on you and sorry for the rant but i feel it should be said.

And you'd be closer to the new Fareway store opening tomorrow.

Maybe with new owners will come better service. I wonder when all this will happen, I'd like to know so that I know when its worth going back to try again.

Also, the Chicago style pizza would be a welcomed addition to our current pizza selections.

I've been here twice since they changed ownership. I thought the service was great. Either an owner or mananger came by our table on both visits and asked how we were doing. Reminded me of Granite City Brewery! So, all they need to do is get their fry dipping sauce and I'll be there more often!!! I hope they do well!

fuzzy, I have been to 331 three times since ownership has changed hands, each an everytime one of the owners personally came to my table to see how my service was going. That being said service seems to be a top priority. I think now would be the time to give the new ownership a chance.

@Hawk & twosix, thanks. I'm glad to hear that the service is being addressed. I will certainly have to go down there one of these days and give them another try. Thanks for the heads up.

We went Friday evening when the line was out the door at Whistle Binkies at 5:30. We got right in and service and food were excellent. We swore we wouldn't go back after bad service but the new owners seemed to address that. Now if they can regulate the heat and air........

TeeNuts, your point is taken. I guess I was thinking of the distance in terms of grabbing lunch. I'm just saying I'll save the 8 mile round trip in gas if they're going to continue to be the same old. But it sounds like there is a lot of positive feedback about them already, so I won't be as reluctant to give them a try.

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