Los Angeles' The Pizza Studio will expand into San Diego County after signing a multi-unit development agreement for 20 new locations with veteran restaurant entrepreneur George Katakalidis. The first location will open in downtown San Diego in January 2014, with a second location in Kearny Mesa, Calif., opening in March 2014.

Katakalidis has more than 25 years experience, including as founder of Daphne's Greek Café in 1988. He was managing 83 corporate locations before selling that brand in 2010. He then started a new restaurant concept called Taverna Blu with locations in Del Mar and Irvine, Calif.

"Pizza Studio has a fantastic product and operational setup and I could not be more pleased to be their partner in San Diego County," Katakalidis said in a news release.

After opening his first two locations in the first quarter of 2014, he has plans to have his third and fourth locations open by the end of the year. All 20 locations will open within five years.

Since it first opened in 2012, The Pizza Studio has signed development agreements with several multi-unit operators for 95 units across the country and projects there will be announcements for 150 signed units by the end of this year.

Read more about franchising and growth.

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