Restaurant News & Reviews

‘Chick-Fil-A of the pizza industry’ to open in Downtown Commons on Thursday

Downtown Commons’ next restaurant is a slice of the past.

The Pizza Press will open Thursday, Oct. 25, at 405 K Street, Suite 240. It’s a 1920s newspaper-themed pizzeria with pies somewhat ambiguously named after publications, including “The Chronicle,” “The Sun” and “The Herald” and the slogan “Craft Your Own Story,” plus a build-your-own station similar to Pieology or MOD Pizza’s.

The DoCo location marks the first of eight restaurants that father-son franchisees Albert and Nick Romo plan to open in Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado counties. Leases are being negotiated in Natomas and the Arden/Watt area, Albert said, with plans to open next summer.

Albert has worked for auditing companies and run a tax consulting business in the Sacramento area since 1992, while Nick, an Oak Ridge High School graduate, is finishing up his entrepreneurship degree at Sacramento State. The family has season tickets to Kings games, and saw an opportunity to open a downtown location.

“It kind of creates a billboard for us, because everyone going to a Kings’ game or concert is going to see The Pizza Press,” Albert said.

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Eleven-inch pizzas run $9.50 at the 2,500-square foot DoCo restaurant, which neighbors Panda Express near the Century movie theater. Look for 23 taps pouring craft beers from local breweries such as Mraz, New Glory and Burning Barrel, plus big-name beers in bottles and cans and a single house red wine.

One item exclusive to the Sacramento-area locations: “The Bee,” which comes with red sauce, carmelized onions, mozzarella, crumbled feta, grilled chicken breast, bacon, Spanish black olives, grape tomatoes, crimini mushrooms and green bell peppers.

Nick worked at Mooyah Burgers in Rocklin during Albert’s year as the store’s franchisee, giving both their first taste of the restaurant industry. But the Plano-based chain isn’t their main inspiration for how to run an eatery.

“We really are trying to be the Chick-fil-A of the pizza industry,” Albert said. “You go in there and everyone is polished, clean, articulate, nice (and) friendly. The place is spotless — we’re going to focus on cleanliness, quickness and people treating the guests nicely.”

Pizzas are free with the purchase of a soda on The Pizza Press’ opening day Thursday, which kicks off at noon and will last until midnight. The normal hours are 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sign up for the Great Pizza Giveaway at www.thepizzapress.com/gpg/ to qualify.

This will be The Pizza Press’ 31st opening and first in Northern California. The chain has 24 Southern California locations plus six more out of state.

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