Though Pizzeria Locale announced the closure of its five out-of-state locations earlier this summer, the chain is looking to grow again by opening new Denver-area locations in 2019. Two new stores are in the pipeline, owner Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson told Eater, though he wouldn’t divulge where they’re located.
“[Pizzeria Locale] has continued to look for opportunities to expand in areas where our teams are strongest and the brand most resonating with people,” Mackinnon-Patterson said. “We have a loyal and amazing fan base in Denver along with a strong management team and so we are looking at a number of opportunities here.”
Spun out of the original full-service Boulder location, Pizzeria Locale partnered with Chipotle in 2013 and morphed into a fast-casual operation. Then, in 2015, the burrito behemoth’s luck took a turn for the worst, when news of E. coli outbreaks and ill customers caught national attention. Chipotle’s Founder Steve Ells stepped down as CEO, replaced by former Taco Bell executive, Brian Niccol, who led the group in shuttering Pizzeria Locale — along with 65 Chipotle locations — beyond Colorado’s borders.
The Pizzeria Locale team has now revamped its expansion strategy, with the intention to grow at a more “thoughtful pace,” according to Mackinnon-Patterson.
“Chipotle has been and continues to be a supportive partner,” Mackinnon-Patterson added.
He explained that the team does not intend to alter their concept looking ahead. Assuming the reboot is successful, the quick-serve pies could make a comeback outside Colorado, but not in the immediate future.
“We have a strong belief that making pizza from scratch using classic age-old fermentation techniques, without added sugars, dough conditioners, and many other ingredients you can’t pronounce is important for the world of pizza,” Mackinnon-Patterson added. “Just because pizza is fast doesn’t mean it needs to be a typical fast-food experience.”