New Lucano's Pizza Opens in Palos Heights

The pizza restaurant is brand new in town but already has drawn a crowd.

Palos Heights' newest pizza place has launched with a bang.

Lucano's Pizza opened for business Tuesday to a surprising response from the community, said owner Alex Dreznes. He said business that first day far exceed what they expected.

"We turned the "Open" sign off, it was so busy," Dreznes said.

Lucano's feature item is their thin crust pizza. Dreznes said they got their training and has worked as a franchisee with Barraco's Pizza since 2006, operating locations Lisle and Crest Hill. In June, they broke off from the big chain and rebranded to Lucano's.

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The newly independent operation then started looking for the chance to move to the south suburbs. Dreznes is originally from Oak Forest and graduated from Sandburg High School in Orland Park.

Lucano's takes over the former Caprio's Pizza spot, which closed down for the second time Aug. 16 after a short run under new management. Rosario Caprio, who started the old pizza restaurant, had sold it off but was still part of the deal and had helped search for a new buyer.

"I had the best year I ever had in 2011 and I sold it just because I had a good offer," Caprio said of his original desire to sell.

Find Lucano's Pizza on Facebook.

Dreznes jumped on the chance to take over the spot from Caprio at 12778 S. Harlem Ave. Trained by Barraco's, Dreznes brings great deal of culinary expertise to his own recipes for pizza.

"If you like a nice Chicago thin crust pizza, come by and try it," Dreznes said.

Lucano's menu includes an assortment of offerings, including burgers, sandwiches and pasta dishes. Lucano's also has restaurant seating and offers catering.

Looking to try Lucano's or another of Palos' great places to eat? Look through Palos Patch's business directory first.

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Ray December 07, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Finally some great pizza in the south suburbs!! Can't wait to order from them tonight! Being a Sandburg graduate myself, I'm happy to support a fellow Eagle!
Jack December 07, 2012 at 08:20 PM
I tried the pizza on tuesday, it was real good. Pretty much as good as Barracos. The quality is a little off but at least its local. But i did hear Barracos in crestwood was offering free delivery to palos. It could just be a rumor, but lucanos did say it used to be a franchise of barracos, so maby its a little bit of competition. Either way ill take the free delivery any day of the week!
Jessica Moreno December 07, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I just had the pizza today, definitly not what you would expect. I read this article and expected the pizza to taste just like barracos, but it was horrible. Ive been in the neighborhood for fifteen years with my husband and i was real excited to have a pizza place so close to home. Its unfortunate that ill have to go elsewhere for pizza but i want to enjoy my food.
Robert December 07, 2012 at 09:05 PM
My family and kids all grew up eating Barraco's and over the past couple years it has really got Bad!! We had Lucano's last night and it really was great, (auctually tasted like barraco's used to, fresh and loaded with toppings)!!! The sausage pizza was awesome and my kids loved the Cheese Pizza!! Welcome to the neighborhood!!!
Jen December 08, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Went here on Wednesday with the family. They have a few tables for dine eating. We had pizza, beef sandwiches and pasta. Everything was great!
James December 08, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Fellow Eagle or not, Steal someone else's secrets and then go after their customer base shows a real lack of character. You won't see me there! Bad Katma. Then use their name to promote yourself? Real bad Karma!
Vince December 08, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Hey Jim, If you can't take the heat, get out of the Kitchen. Had their pizza last night and it was amazing!! Read the article, nobody is stealing anything!! Looks and sounds like a great businesses man!!
William Billsky December 10, 2012 at 05:34 AM
I am a frequent customer of Barraco's and it seems that this is a knock off of Barraco's. I mean just look at the menu. The mama Barraco's is his mama Lucano's. He didn't change the name of the freddy or the pasta creation, which I get all the time. And barraco's belt buster is his belly buster. Not to mention he has the same catering packages that Barraco's offers.
Samantha December 11, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Our family tried it tonight and all we have to say is YES, finally a pizza place worth talking about! Everything was excellent! You've got to try this place. There's always going to be people who bad talk, but you shouldn't listen to them on this! If they have 3 locations, they are obviously doing something right. We're using Lucano's to cater our work Christmas Party!
thomas patterson December 11, 2012 at 01:19 AM
I love it here they treated me like family love u guys great food great people
Nate December 14, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Tried Lucano's tonight, didn't feel like cooking with the holidays coming up and I have to say it was ok. More comparable to Nonnas in my opinion than Barracos. The pizza had a little too much cheese and I think it made the crust soggy. The sauce was nice in that the flavor wasn't strong so it didn't overwhelm it. I would try it again, but only cause everyone deserves one more chance.
Kevin R. December 15, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Decided to try lucanos since yesterday for the first time since its so close by. The crust was soggy so i was not at all a big fan of the pizza. Definitely sticking to Barracos where I am never disappointed!!
Jamie Rollins December 16, 2012 at 07:07 AM
Had Lucano's again tonight!! My new favorite!! Sorry Barracos, they got you beat!!
John Casey January 31, 2013 at 03:46 AM
I had this pizza and it was like I was eating rubber because the dough was so chewy and I couldn't even finish the food so I threw it away. This didn't just happen once but twice. I was very disappointed so be careful if you decide to eat here.
Fran Barraco February 18, 2013 at 07:15 AM
Best pizza ever!!!!!
joan a February 19, 2013 at 09:53 PM
There was no Baracco's base store in Palos before, so no stealing of customer base going on. Lucano's is a fine pizza restaurant with good food and the menu offers what you find in most any pizza establishment. The pizza DOES NOT taste anything like Baracco's. I have had both. Lucano's is way more flavorful. The thin crust pizza is crisp and delicious. The sausage is packed with flavor! I don't know what the gripe is. People break off from working establishments and venture off on their own all of the time. Some new business ventures make it and some do not. There seems to be a lot of jealously because Lucano's is taking off and people like the food. Why is this any different than all of the other new pizza places that spawn off of an existing establishment? An example of this happening is Louisa's in Crestwood was started when a woman left her employment at Pizzeria Due and opened a new establishment with her spin on the pizza crust, taste and ingredients. Get over it and enjoy the pizza that appeals to your taste buds. Baracco's needs to back off and realize they are not the only pizza establishment on the southside.
ann cuvala February 20, 2013 at 02:54 AM
I've lived in Palos for 24 years. Barraco's has been a favorite for all of them, not to say I haven't ordered from other area pizza/Italian restaurants. I have, and I've enjoyed the experience for different reasons, including Caprio's. In the short time Lucano's has been opened in Palos, I've ordered pizza's for a party, ordered from the catering menu for a graduation party, and several Friday night dinners. None of my guests have been disappointed. I can tell you from experience that the crust, the sausage and the marinara are not the same as Barraco's. Lucano's is a great addition to our community, and I will continue to order from them. The staff is enthusiastic and extremely helpful. The ingredients are fresh and plentiful. I'm feeling like this is becoming a personal attack against Lucano's. That's unfortunate. There is plenty of room for both to be successful. I believe local businesses should support each other, and not try to defeat their growth. It's just the right thing to do.


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