• CPK founders to launch new restaurant

LOS ANGELES -- Larry Flax and Rick Rosenfield, co-founders and co-chairmen of California Pizza Kitchen, will open a non-pizza-centered restaurant in May dubbed LA Food Show.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the $2.1-million restaurant will be a dinner house with a display kitchen and feature a 50-item menu featuring burgers, steaks, pasta and alcohol. Average check is expected to be about $15 per person.

Publicly held 145-unit CPK will own a minority share in the Los Angeles restaurant and be its sole outside investor. Flax and Rosenfield each sold 340,000 shares of CPK stock in November at about $24 per share to help finance the new venture (See "CPK officers, majority holder sell 1.46 million shares of stock"), which they plan to develop into a chain.

"It is our vision that the companies would one day unite," Flax, 60, told the Times.

CPK continues to move away from a pizza-centered menu (only 30 percent of its sales come from pizza) by broadening its offerings. Still, Rosenfield said that doesn't mean the concepts will become one.

"No one wants to see CPK distracted from developing CPK," said Rosenfield, 57. "At the same time, Larry and I want to let our creative senses flow again."

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