Danny Z’s, Munster
Last Updated on Friday, 04 February 2011 08:14 Monday, 31 January 2011 14:46
Danny Z’s, Munster
By: Mona Dickinson
Dan Zunica is carrying on a family tradition and proven success in the restaurant business with Danny Z’s Grub-N-Pub at 1860 45th Street near the Eastwood Mall complex in Munster. Zunica grew up in the restaurant business. His father and mother, Dante and Marilyn Zunica, opened House of Pizza in Hammond in 1954. Over the years, Zunica continued that tradition of serving up pizzas at other restaurants. In honor of Zunica’s father, he opened Dante’s House of Pizza along 45th Street in Munster in 2008, serving up the pizza that many in the region have come to love.
Zunica is heading in a new direction with Danny Z’s, which opened last July in the former Beef O’Brady’s restaurant site just down the street from Dante’s. “It’s our first non-pizza restaurant. In fact, the only pizza we’ll serve here are special orders of Dante’s Pizza,” Zunica told the NWI Times in a recent interview. Other business ventures have included Zuni’s and Longshots. “This is a new concept for us. It’s a family sports restaurant. We want kids to feel welcome here.” A sports theme carries throughout the building with the restaurant’s 28 TVs that will be tuned to a variety of events through Direct TV, including the NFL Ticket. Free WiFi is also available to patrons. Local high school and community sports teams are spotlighted in Danny Z’s décor, which was created with suggestions from family and friends. Jerseys, helmets and photos of various teams from the local prep sports teams hang from the burnt orange-colored walls and the soaring black industrial ceiling. With a focus on the prep and local sports scene, the restaurant accepts sports memorabilia from local fans. The Regional Radio Sports Network did live broadcasts this past season from Danny Z’s promoting local high school sports in the region.
Executive Chef Jose Saenz joined Danny Z’s from Hannah’s in New Buffalo, MI and created a very unique menu that appeals to every taste. From appetizers to dinners with a variety of sides, there’s something for everyone. Saenz created the menu to stand out from the crowd, offering unique and different items that you don’t find in restaurants in the area.
The menu includes specialty burgers served on toasted brioche, salads, jumbo wings, chili, signature sandwiches and variety of dinner selections. You can finish your meal with an array of homemade desserts. Popular items on the Florida-style menu include the restaurant’s signature mac and cheese, fish tacos, blackened grouper and the specialty burgers. Appetizers start at $7. Salads and soups are priced from $5, while burgers and sandwiches range from $7.50 to $12. Most dinners are $15 or less. There is also traditional “pub grub” items and am extensive children’s menu. The restaurant has a three-way liquor license and offers 12 beers on tap including micobrews from Three Floyds (Alpha King and Robert the Bruce} and Goose Island, along with Blue Moon, Stella and Guinness. A variety of other domestics, imports and microbrews is available in the bottles. The pub area also offers dart boards and pool tables for patrons, along with a big screen and other TV’s for all sporting events.
Danny Z’s is a non-smoking restaurant. A patio area outside features tables with umbrellas and is the only smoking area for Danny Z’s. There are two small banquet rooms available for private parties and events.
Moving into the spring, Danny Z’s will continue its sports them with UFC fights, car shows and special outdoor events. Vendors will be welcome.
The restaurant and pub is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and from 11 a.m. to midnight on weekends. Daily food and drink specials are featured and you can find them on Facebook.
Danny Z’s Grub-N-Pub is located at 1860 45th Street (near Fran Lin Parkway) in Munster. You can reach them at (219) 924-3500.