Grimaldi’s Pizzeria expands; original faces eviction

Aug. 10, 2010
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria expands; original faces eviction

Grimaldi's Pizzeria will open late in the fall of 2010 at Scottsdale Quarter, a premier shopping destination in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Neapolitan-style, coal-fired brick oven pizzeria prides itself on using only the freshest ingredients for toppings, a “secret recipe” pizza sauce and handmade mozzarella cheese and dough, served in an upscale but family-oriented New York-style venue.

The 100-year-old company’s newest location will be the sixth in the Arizona market. They currently have locations in Old Town Scottsdale, DC Ranch, Peoria, Chandler and Gilbert.

The expansion announcement comes as the original Grimaldi’s has been embroiled in a legal battle over back rent owed in the famous spot under the Brooklyn Bridge. According to the Wall Street Journal, Tenant Frank Ciolli, whose son, Joe, runs the nationwide arm of expanding Grimaldi’s, owes $44,000 to his landlord, who has asked the state Supreme Court to evict the pizzeria.

Despite perennial lines at the Brooklyn icon, Fla.-based landlord Dorothy Waxman said Ciolli has lapsed on many bills. Even if things go well in court for Ciolli, he will be denied the right to renew his lease in fall 2011, and will have to move.

From the story:

Things turned ugly in Brooklyn in April, when Mrs. Waxman started the eviction process. She accused Mr. Ciolli of not paying three months of rent, and owing a nearly $15,000 tax lien, a nearly $1,500 water bill and a $1,000 environmental violations fine for not installing a pump to keep wastewater out of the city's water system. She said she was forced to use the security deposit to pay bills and fines.

New locations still on track

The wholly owned and operated locations opening across the nation, however, continue unabated. The newest in Phoenix will show all the trappings that have made the concept famous, such as the hand-built coal-fired oven that delivers a unique flavor and consistency.

Weighing in at 25 tons and heated by 100 pounds of coal per day (cleanest burning fuel available and environmentally tested), the oven heats up to 1,200 degrees. The intense heat of the oven evenly bakes the pies to create Grimaldi’s famous crispy and smoky thin crust.

It has been said that the secret to true New York-style pizza is the water. Grimaldi’s believes that too, going to great lengths to keep the integrity of the water used in the Brooklyn pizzeria by hiring a chemist to analyze and recreate the mineral content and exact composition of the water to ensure the dough tastes the same in Arizona.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria owns and operates locations in Las Vegas and Reno, Nev., the Texas towns of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Corpus Christi, and six locations in Arizona. Meanwhile, additional locations in Texas, Nevada and Florida are in the works.

Topics: Food Safety, Franchising & Growth, Operations Management, Pizza Sauce, Pizza Toppings

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