Slicing up the market: local pizza restaurants expand

Pizza is on the menu in Memphis.

Three local pizza chains are expanding their existing footprints into three different areas of the city.

Construction on the new Aldo's Pizza Pies in Midtown is nearing completion, and the restaurant should be open by mid-October.

Owner Aldo Dean leased the old Two-Way Inn building at 752 South Cooper Street in the Cooper-Young neighborhood for his second Aldo's Pizza location. The original Aldo’s--located Downtown at 100 South Main Street--opened in July 2012.

The new Aldo's will feature a rooftop patio, dough made in-house daily and an exclusive Aldo's beer from Memphis Made Brewing, located nearby at 768 Cooper. The restaurant will be open seven days a week and offer delivery service.

A bit further east, Rock 'n Dough Pizza Co. is prepping its second Memphis restaurant, which it plans to open within the next two months. The pizza maker is opening in University Center, at Poplar Avenue and Highland Street.

Owners Jeremy and Amanda Denno already operate a Rock 'n Dough mobile food truck, a brick-and-mortar store at 1243 Ridgeway Road in East Memphis and another location in Jackson, Tenn.

In Cordova, Pyro's Fire Fresh Pizza is adding a third restaurant at 2286 North Germantown Parkway. Pyro's already has restaurants in Midtown, at 2035 Union Avenue, and East Memphis, at 1199 Ridgeway Road.

The Pyro's concept has grown quickly. Owners Chad Forman and Kirk Cotham opened the East Memphis store in fall 2013 and the Midtown location in early 2014. They expect to open the Cordova restaurant in December 2014 and are planning two additional stores in the first half of 2015.

Jet's Pizza, a Michigan-based pizza chain, also is growing its footprint in Memphis. Local Jet's franchisee Frank Kozlowski will soon open his fourth Memphis-area Jet's location on Poplar Avenue in East Memphis.

Jet’s--the twelfth-largest pizza chain in the U.S.--already has three Memphis-area locations, in Cordova, Germantown and Bartlett. It's also the official pizza vendor of FedExForum.

As for a pizza saturation point in the market, Dean contends he isn't worried.

"Everybody can have their pizza and eat it too."

By Jane A. Donahoe