Fort Smith restaurant-goers hungry for a thick, cheesy pizza with sauce on top at the long-awaited Gusano’s Chicago Style Pizzeria will have to wait just a little while longer, but an announcement on the opening date is expected next week.

Jason Moore of Gusano’s Fort Smith on Phoenix Avenue said Thursday that while he is not ready to announce an opening date yet, he does intend to have a date ready for the public by the end of next week.

Applications for staff members are still being accepted and the interior is close to being “finished out," he added. At least two pizza chefs were recently trained on the ovens at the Gusano's in Bella Vista.

A May Times Record report on the development at 5500 Phoenix Ave., which began in August 2017, listed expected timelines of being “finished out” in February with potential openings in July.

Followers of the Gusano’s Chicago Style Pizzeria Fort Smith Facebook page have made comments at the site for most of the year, eagerly requesting an opening date.

Scott Clark, developer of the Gusano's building., said Thursday he anticipates an opening for Gusano’s and Uncork’d wine and beer bar by the end of October and Baskin-Robbins by next week. Clark, who also owns Sodie’s Wine and Spirits next door at 5401 Phoenix Ave., created Uncork’d to offer wine and a tapas menu, along with 40 taps to dispense a variety of regional craft beer.

Gateway Construction in Fort Smith is the contractor for the interior of the project. Barney Puckett, owner of Gateway Construction, said Thursday Gusano’s is “not your typical pizza place.”

“It’s a high-end place,” Puckett said of Gusano's. “It looks great in there.”