In 1956 childhood friends Michael Caringella and Armand Christopher purchased the Victory Tap in Elmwood Park. Mike worked at his families butcher shop on Taylor Street and Armand was a success... Read more
In 1956 childhood friends Michael Caringella and Armand Christopher purchased the Victory Tap in Elmwood Park. Mike worked at his families butcher shop on Taylor Street and Armand was a successful artist.
They incorporated both of these things into their new venture. Mike bringing his experience and family recipes into the kitchen where he created many of the famous items on Armand’s menu and Armand exhibiting his original artwork in the main dining room. All the artwork was for sale and the original logo and sign were created to look like it was in a picture frame to showcase Armand’s involvement.
The name of the establishment was decided by a coin toss, the winner was Mike and he decided to name the place Armand’s Victory Tap. He decided this so that complaints would be directed to Armand. The concept flourished selling thousands of Mike’s signature thin crust pizzas weekly. The place had a main dining room with large booths that had individual jukeboxes and a constant flow of young people and families. Customers could watch from Grand Avenue as the Pizza’s were hand tossed and put into one of the only giant revolving pizza ovens in Chicago.
In the 1960’s Armand decided that the Restaurant business was not for him and sold his half to Mike. Over the years Armand’s Victory Tap became Armand’s Pizzeria and mike and his family sold millions of pizzas as well as other signature items such as Stuffed Artichokes, Baked Clams and Antipasto Salad. Mike and his wife Ann’s family continued to run Armand’s as their family business and the list of neighborhood friends and family that worked there as pizza makers and delivery drivers number in the hundreds. Mikes mother, “Grandma Caringella” ruled the kitchen until the 90’s and nothing left before passing her inspection.
Armand’s continued to grow becoming an institution and expanding to 250 seats and delivering all over the near west city and suburbs.
Armand’s added three locations in the late 90’s and early 2000’s including Elmhurst, Arlington Heights and St. Charles. The family tradition and memories at Armand’s are legendary and the food is still prepared to the exacting specifications of Grandma Caringella. Our goal is to continue that family tradition and bring Mike’s pizza and grandma’s recipe’s to the children and grandchildren of Armand’s original customers.