Atlanta-based Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint is adding another intown location, this at the Edgwewood Retail District on Moreland Avenue in east Atlanta. Uncle Maddio's Edgewood will open in the
former Caribou Coffee, next to Figo Pasta. (Caribou Coffee closed earlier this year amidst an uber competitive center complete with THREE Starbucks --- inside Kroger, Target and a licensed cafe in Barnes & Noble )
Uncle Maddio's was started by former Moe's Southwest Grill co-founder Matt Andrew and Tony Lewis, an original Moe's franchisee. The first Uncle Maddio's opened in 2009 at Toco Hills shopping center. The space had weeks prior been home to Mama Fu's Asian House, a Lewis-franchised, then Raving Brands owned concept.
Uncle Maddio's has been called the Moe's of pizza and is surely hoping to replicate the burrito joint's success. Today Moe's is owned by Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands and has over 400 locations across the country.
Uncle Maddio's has been on a growth spurt of late, announcing new territory developments and additonal locations earlier this year. Late last year new locations opened in Woodstock and in suburban Kentucky. Since January, new Atlanta locations have opened in Akers Mill near Cumberland Mall, Kennesaw, and Alpharetta. Later this month a new location will open on Roswell Road in Buckhead and towards the end of the year another location will open in Dunwoody, along with Another Broken Egg Cafe.
Uncle Maddio's also lists locations coming soon to Savannah, Charlotte, Jacksonville and Columbia.
Uncle Maddio's is not alone in the newly created "fast casual pizza" category. Offering customization and an economical price in a traditionally high profit food item has attracted established industry veterans and restaurant entrepreneurs.
Athens-based Your Pie offers a similar pizza experience and has nine locations open in Georgia with a tenth coming soon. The chain also has another five locations scattered between Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Rick Wetzel, co-founder and president of Wetzel's Pretzels, launched Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza this past July and currently has two locations open in Irvine and Pasadena. Though I have not been, photos of Blaze pies look far more artisan and "high end" than those of Uncle Maddio's or Your Pie.
Pie Five Pizza Co., started by The Colony, Texas-based Pizza Inn opened its first location in Fort Worth, Texas in June of last year. Pie Five currently has seven locations open with two more coming soon, all in Texas.
All of the above concepts offer both customizeable as well as pre-selected pizzas for under ten bucks, many under $8.
Your Pie has been slowly making its way to the metro area with a location in Roswell, but neither Pie Five nor Blaze have announced expansion plans outside of their home states of Texas and California respectively. Subway has also added personal pizzas to their sub offerings but does anyone really want a pizza from Subway?
Are you excited about the upcoming Uncle Maddio's opening in Buckhead, Dunwoody and Edgewood? Have you been to Your Pie or any of the other similar concepts? What is your favorite non gourmet pizza in Atlanta? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.