The time has come. Matt Andrew and his partners announced last week that they are now offering franchises of their pizza concept, Maddio's. To be accurate, they are franchising Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint, the third name for this now 18 month old concept. Prior to opening, the eatery's signage said "Mattio's Pizza Joint," but just before opening, it became"Maddio's Pizza Joint." The first name may have been in honor of co-founder Matt Andrew; I'm told that the change occurred due to there being a similarly named restaurant elsewhere and to avoid issues in expanding. The most recent name is interesting as it just took effect about a month ago, and just last week came the announcement that the restaurant would begin franchising. Hopefully they have learned from the struggles of local concepts Mama Fu's Asian House (which occupied the space most recently) and Artuzzi's Italian Kitchen, both which failed to succeed after initial franchising. Management released a video on YouTube that seems to be an attempt at showing what a popular spot it is. I've been a few times and would probably agree with current Yelp sentiment, giving them 3.5 of 5 stars. It's good for what it is, but not amazing by any stretch of the imagination. While their current marketing campaign is "Real Pizza. Real Fresh. Real Fast," they also are currently on a "Campaign for Real Pizza" during which one can text a code to a 5 digit number and receive a free pizza of their choice. This place definitely has potential, I'm just not a fan of getting my pizzas from a conveyor belt, I prefer Varasano's Pizzeria any day.
In quasi related news, Matt Andrew's former boss, Martin Sprock invested in but has yet to expand Uncle Fatty's Drive-In from its initial location at Cameron Village in Raleigh, North Carolina. The concept features a variety of burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and other items in a vintage drive-in atmosphere. Cameron Village is also home to former sister Raving Brands concepts The Flying Biscuit Cafe and Moe's Southwest Grill. Raving Brands founder and CEO Martin Sprock called the new concept a Raving Brands concept last year when he spoke to the AJC, but there is not mention of it on the Raving Brands website, and the Uncle Fatty's website lacks the polished look of other Raving Brands sites. Sprock claimed that the restaurant would likely expand to Atlanta, although that prospect seems distant at this point with the existing location not currently meeting expectations according to management. The restaurant has a 3 star rating on Yelp, out of only five reviews. Additionally, there is an exiting restaurant in Chicago called Uncle Fatty's Rum Resort, making the Drive-In's possible expansion a challenge. ToNeTo Atlanta