April 14, 2011 // Franchising.com // DURHAM, N.C. – Pizza Inn, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZI), an international pizza chain recognized for serving a variety of fresh, popular traditional and specialty pizzas, is now open in Durham, North Carolina at 3906 N. Duke Street.
The building at 3906 N. Duke Street had been a local pizzeria in the late 1960s and after that a Pizza Inn. Now, by popular demand, two local businessmen are recreating the traditional pizzeria experience and bringing Pizza Inn back to Durham.
"It's an institution to people in north Durham," says Troy Harrington, about the restaurant's historic location. "I've heard stories of kids who came here with their Little League teams, of couples who had their first dates here, and men who proposed to their wives."
So Harrington and business partner Mike Cotton, visited 23 Pizza Inn restaurants across four states as homework. Harrington, who served as a vice president for almost 10 years with a homebuilding company, and Cotton, who was the founder and former operator of Hog Heaven Bar-B-Q in Durham and Roxboro, put their construction and operations expertise together to create a brand new experience.
"We are happy to bring the Pizza Inn brand back to Durham," said Cotton. "National restaurant chains have avoided northern Durham as they don't believe that our community will support a new restaurant but, as a 45-year resident, I disagree and so do about 90,000 other people. Our restaurant will be a family friendly, neighborhood place to eat with an all day buffet as well as full menu for catering and take-out. We will also be very active in supporting our community."
The business partners gutted their building from front to back, remodeled the space, added three flat-screen televisions, a 27-item salad bar, a full pizza and pasta buffet and seating for 134 people.
The nostalgia of the building was reclaimed when they removed the siding on the walls to reveal the original brick structure of the pizzeria more than 40 years ago. Now adorned with football helmets and sports jerseys from the area high schools and junior highs, the Pizza Inn is pleased to be able to add 60 new jobs in the neighborhood to serve up the menu and dining experience that has made the brand a legend.
"Troy and Mike have done an incredible job and the community is going to be astounded at their new local Pizza Inn dining experience," said Charlie Morrison, president and CEO of Pizza Inn.
The restaurant will be open 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sundays – Thursdays, and 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Headquartered in the Dallas suburb of The Colony, TX, Pizza Inn, Inc., is an international pizza chain featuring traditional and specialty pizzas, as well as freshly made pastas, sandwiches, and desserts. Founded in 1958, publicly traded Pizza Inn (Nasdaq:PZZI) franchises approximately 300 restaurants and directly owns and operates five restaurants. For more information, please visit www.pizzainn.com.
Pizza Inn is seeking single- and multi-unit franchisees to help grow the company's network of restaurants in the region. More information on franchise opportunities with Pizza Inn is available at www.pizzainn.com or by contacting Dino Chavez, Director of Franchise Development, at (800) 284-3466.