Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rize Pizza's Rapid Growth Continues With Planned Dunwoody Restaurant

Rize Artisan Pizza, a new Delaware-based pizza chain that opened their first ever location this past fall in Poncey Highland and added a second location shortly afterwards in Sandy Springs, is already planning a third unit.  The new Rize is planned for a new freestanding building in Dunwoody Village. 
Rize Artisan Pizza on North Highland Avenue in Poncey-Highland

Sandy Springs-based Crim Development is redeveloping a former gas station at the corner of Mount Vernon and Chamblee Dunwoody Road in the heart of Dunwoody Village. Crim had previously planned to construct a 5,900 square foot building, possibly with two tenants, but will instead construct a 4,000 square foot single tenant property.  

Crim refers to the planned 5,900 4,000 square foot retail building on its website as "one of the most prominent corners in Dunwoody."

Crim also assisted in the development and retail leasing of the new Square One apartments at Hammond Drive and Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. Square One is home to the Sandy Springs Rize location.  While Crim is also developing a 12,500 square foot strip center at Toco Hills, I have thus far heard no indication as to whether Rize may have interest in it, too. 

The property has been cleared and sources suggest that construction should begin in earnest soon. The City of Dunwoody has issued an "active development permit," but has not yet issued a building permit.   Additionally, while I could get no confirmation from Rize on their planned opening, sources suggest the restaurant could open as soon as November, pending build-out and permitting.  

A City of Dunwoody spokesperson responded to a neighbor's question on the popular hyper-local site Nextdoor, stating that Youngstown, Ohio-based Rise Pies would be opening in the space which I have proven to be untrue.  The two pizza shops, although similar in name, operate different models, with Rise Pies focusing on inline mall and outlet-based locations, while Rize Artisan Pizza focuses on larger, endcap and freestanding restaurants outside of malls and shopping centers.  

When it opens, Rize will join a suddenly crowded pizza market in Dunwoody Village, with mainstay Mellow Mushroom holding court not far away.  Novo Cucina, from restaurateur Riccardo Ullio, opened in a onetime Pizza Hut in Dunwoody Hall shopping center in 2015.  Most recently, local pizza joint Vintage Pizzeria opened its third area location in The Shops of Dunwoody shopping center last month.  

While there is no doubt that Rize is light years ahead of Uncle Maddio's Pizza in quality and variety, Uncle Maddio's does operate a location, their corporate store actually, not far from Dunwoody Village in Perimeter Village

Interestingly, in my preparation for this post, I discovered that Rize Artisan Holdings LLC, the parent company of Rize Artisan Pizza, is actually based in Delaware, not Georgia, as I'd thought and reported previously.  Additionally, according to the Georgia Secretary of State, Rize is not in compliance, having not filed its annual registration, jeopardizing their ability to transact business in the state of Georgia.  On June 15th, the Secretary of State's office informed Rize of the issue that if left unresolved would lead to the  "revocation of this entity’s certificate of authority to transact business in the State of Georgia."  Rize has 60 days from the issuance of the notice to abate the issue. 

Rize has reportedly invested heavily in an app that really just enables customers to order and pay for food and offers little else in the way of functionality.  The restaurant has also invested in an iPad-driven ordering system that in my experience can lead to ordering delays rather than efficiencies.  

The food at Rize is not bad but I truly believe they may be doing too much too soon and focusing on the wrong things as they try to scale.    

Have you been to either of the existing Rize Artisan Pizza locations?  Do you think Rize will do well in Dunwoody?  What is your favorite quick-serve pizza?

Please share your thoughts below.  

[Update: As of 6:24PM on June 28th, Rize Artisan Holdings, LLC is again in compliance with the Georgia Secretary of State's office.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I drive by Rize every day when I head home from work and I have never seen it even close to full. It is usually nearly empty--even on Friday evening.
We went there once. Besides serving us the wrong order, the pizza was $13.50 for a modest individual sized pizza. By comparison, for $21 you can get a full-sized awesome pizza at one of the best pizza places in Atlanta (Antico).

Eric Hovdesven said...

I went to the Sandy Springs location once and did not like the ordering process. The place was not crowded but I had to wait too long just to place my Order. And then once seated they did not bring our beers, the food came and that was the first time anyone acknowledged us. They said they brought the beer to another table. Then they wouldn't even comp the beer or give us a second beer for free because the manager said that was against the làw. Which is stupid. So I won't be going back. Pizza was OK but not worth it. Dunwoody will fail, Vintage and Mellow Mushroom at least knows how to train staff. Fellini's counter ordering system is far superior to Rize's

Anonymous said...

Is the "freestanding building" the one in the front (the old breakfast cabin place)?
If so, Vintage will kill it. 2 Pizza places next door to each other in Dunwoody aint gonna work.

Anonymous said...

No - Suntrust is building at the old Hickory House location. This is the corner of Mt Vernon and Chamblee where an old gas station lot has been used as a car wash for years. Still rather silly to have 4 pizza restaurants within one block radius.

Anonymous said...

Just what Dunwwody need another Pizza place! Add it to the list of Banks. At least they will build a nice building for the next restaurant that goes in.

Anonymous said...

Can't someone be at least a little original in Dunwoody? Pizza and banks, pizza and banks. There's a lot of kids and families in Dunwoody, but not enough to support 3 pizza places in .5 square miles. I agree with the previous post, I wish the best of luck to the next tenant at that building when Rize falls.