Shakey's Pizza Rolls the Dice in Nevada

Iconic Restaurant Chain Hedges Its Bet That Franchising In The Silver State Will Produce Pure Gold

LOS ANGELES, April 13 // PRNewswire // -- Once a family fixture with six locations in Nevada, Shakey's(R) Pizza, is returning to the Silver State with five restaurants scheduled to open over the next five years, the first of which is slated for Las Vegas January 2010. Spearheading Shakey's Southwest expansion is long-time Las Vegas-based contractor and developer Larry Monkarsh, who grew up with the brand and understands its multi-generational appeal and cultural significance.

"Shakey's Pizza was a big part of my childhood," said Monkarsh. "I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, just outside of Los Angeles and would go to Shakey's with my teammates for the Bunch-A-Lunch buffet before baseball practice. When I discovered that there wasn't a Shakey's franchise in Las Vegas, I knew right away that I wanted to be the guy who brings Shakey's memories back to Nevada," he added. Monkarsh also secured the Shakey's franchise rights in St. George, Utah, Northwestern Arizona and throughout Southern Nevada.

The brand's expansion into the Southwest is indicative of Shakey's newfound brand renaissance. The iconic pizza parlor has reemerged from a nostalgic memory to a successful restaurant chain experiencing exponential growth - even during the economic downturn. While it's been 30 years since Shakey's reached its peak in popularity, the legendary American brand has undergone a system-wide makeover - complete with fresh new menu items as well as new and remodeled restaurants - and is quickly becoming a recognized leader in the family fast casual category.

Originally conceived in the 50's as a destination in which friends and families could gather for hot pizza, cold beer and sing-along ragtime music, the new stores will embrace the original concept with a modern spin - including arcade games, big screen TV's, classic American music and familiar pop-culture memorabilia. The restaurant design will feature Shakey's traditional long tables to accommodate larger parties and community dining as well as intimate booths for smaller groups and families. All restaurants will have an open-kitchen, complete with "dough making theater," as well as offer a refreshed menu featuring classic favorites such as Shakey's original thin crust pizza, crispy fried chicken and famous Mojo(R) potatoes, along with exciting new gourmet pizzas including Texas BBQ Chicken, Rustic Garlic Chicken, a light and fresh Margherita variety and The Firehouse, a meat-lover's pizza with an extra kick.

The rekindled franchise growth reflects the leadership of Shakey's Pizza CEO, Joe Remsa. Under Remsa's helm, Shakey's has experienced double digit sales increases over three consecutive years.

"People have never stopped loving Shakey's Pizza and that's why we're experiencing such a remarkable resurgence in popularity," said Remsa. "Everyone has a Shakey's story and a favorite Shakey's memory - and on occasion, those memories inspire our customers to become Shakey's franchisees. To us, that's the ultimate indicator that we're doing something right."

Monkarsh added, "Shakey's has always been about fun. There's something for everyone - family and friends can get together in a comfortable, relaxed setting and enjoy great tasting food, a wide selection of beers, big screen entertainment for adults and a dedicated game room for the kids." He chimed in, "Now I have the chance to share the same Shakey's experience I had as a child with my four kids - who knows, maybe they'll grow up to carry on the Shakey's tradition too!"

ABOUT SHAKEY'S USA

Sherwood "Shakey" Johnson opened the first Shakey's Pizza Parlor(R) in a remodeled grocery store on 57th and J Street in Sacramento, California in 1954. Originally established as "ye public house" for pizza & beer, Johnson indulged his passion for Dixieland jazz and added live ragtime music to mix, featuring banjos and player pianos throughout his rapidly expanding franchise. As the concept caught on, the Shakey's name became synonymous with The World's Greatest Pizza(R) along with light-hearted slogans such as "You'll have fun at Shakey's, also pizza," and "You can feed your face at any old place, but you can warm your heart at Shakey's." Since that time, Shakey's has been a pop-culture staple referenced in countless television shows, films and even by Bob Hope during an Academy Awards broadcast. And its most famous employee, actor Billy Bob Thornton, continues to share his Shakey's memories in every interview he gives. Shakey's USA, Inc is headquartered in Alhambra, CA.

SOURCE Shakey's Pizza

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