Friday, January 5, 2018

[EXCLUSIVE] MOD Pizza Moving Into Chamblee, Tokyo Belly Not Happening

MOD Pizza, an industry leader in the "create your own pizza" segment, has signed its fifth Atlanta area lease.  MOD Pizza will open in Chamblee at the Whole Foods Market anchored Peachtree Station, at the corner of Johnson Ferry Road and Peachtree Boulevard. The pizza joint will occupy an approximately 2,000 square foot endcap space near Club Pilates.  
Typical MOD interior 

The space was originally leased to Tokyo Belly, a new Japanese eatery from the owners of The One Sushi+in Brookhaven, Katana in Buckhead and Monkey 68 in Roswell, but the Asian eatery reportedly pulled out due to what they saw as too much competition from Whole Foods and its in-store Izakaya from Genji.   

Last summer, ToNeTo Atlanta reported that YEAH! Burger had also pulled out of the project and was promptly replaced with First Watch.    The breakfast-centric eatery is expected to open in the coming weeks.  

MOD, which stands for "made on demand," was founded in Seattle in 2008, and today includes about 200 locations across 20 states and a few in the United Kingdom.   This past January, MOD Pizza announced that it had signed its ninth franchisee: Southern Pie, LLC.   The franchise group, led by Robbie Hill and his daughter Kimberly Hill Hayden, are developing MOD stores in Georgia and Alabama.  Established entrepreneurs, the Hills currently operate a number of Bojangles’ franchises in the southeast.   

Southern Pie's first MOD opened this past June at Kennesaw Marketplace in Kennesaw and was soon followed by additional locations at Decatur Crossing near Decatur and and Dawsonville Marketplace in Dawsonville.  A fourth location is expected to open January 15 at The Plaza at City Springs on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.   

MOD and Pasadena, California-based Blaze are the two largest players in the "create your own" quick-serve pizza industry, each with about 200 locations.  

Unlike MOD, Blaze has thus far focused on intown locations.  Blaze has opened two locations, one at the corner of North Decatur and Clairmont Roads near Emory University, and another just off Cobb Parkway in Akers Mill Square near Cumberland Mall.  A third Blaze is expected to open later this year in the new Kroger-anchored Fuqua Development project at 17th Street and Northside Drive near Atlantic Station.  

Are you excited for the opening of MOD Pizza in Chamblee? What is your favorite quick serve pizza eatery?  Where else would you like to see MOD Pizza open?  

Please share your thoughts below  

9 comments:

Sanni said...

MOD and Blaze are the same. RestuaranTS have same model lay out, same assembly line make your pizza your way, self service drinks and seating. Different names. Pizza was either not cooked toppings or toppings so heavy piled on that the crust gets soggy. No thanks to either

CloseOTP said...

While I haven't been to Blaze or MOD and while most say they're both better than Maddio's, I just wonder how many of these will survive. I'm always going to prefer "real" pizza which is still pretty quick serve. I can go to Mellow Mushroom, Fellini's, Harry's, NY Pizza Exchange, Bella's, Siracusa's, etc. and get NY style pizza at a low price point and relatively quickly. Those who want REALLY cheap and don't care where it's from have the chains - especially the $5 deal at Little Caesars. I'm sure I'll eventually try the Blaze at Akers Mill, but I don't see what the allure is of these types of pizza restaurants. Can someone who does see the allure, let me know. Who knows - maybe I'm missing out!

Anonymous said...

Not really thrilled about more pizza but will give it a shot. They definitely have stiff competition from Vintage which has the best pizza in Chamblee.

Anonymous said...

What is the appeal of "creating your own pizza"? Are people ordering toppings that aren't available at every other pizza place?

I don't understand how these trendy pizza places pop up all the time.

Meanwhile, it's almost impossible to find new york style pizza. In Chamblee, I'm stuck ordering from Gino's. It's mediocre pizza, but it's the only NY style available. Unless I'm missing something?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation Sanni, I didnt realize create your own meant self service as well.
I am going to give this place a miss then, I really want someone to bring it to my table, its just too much hassle to walk the kids thru the line and then have to go back up every time I need a beer. Gallas and Corner Pizza are similar but no real table service so I am going to stick with Vintage and Mad Italian for pizza.

Anonymous said...

vintage is the best!

Greenwave said...

Not sure where Sanni has been going but Blaze Pizza on North Decatur Road is high quality. Every time I go there the pizza are always cooked fresh and not soggy whatsoever. I especially like the drizzle you can get on their pizzas after they have been in the brick oven. Your Pie in Dunwoody and Buckhead are similar as well and I've had no problems with them either.

Plenty of comments in here who don't understand the appeal of these restaurants and yet do no research on the crust, toppings, etc.

Anonymous said...

If you want good pizza without even waiting 6 minutes you can just go to whole foods. This place will not make it even if the pizza is good. Too much local loyalty to Vintage, Galla and mad italian that will get the larger tickets leaving the $6 tickets of people complaining the crust is soggy or they didn't get enough cheese.

Too much quick serve in that center already, they should have added another lash studio.

I'll come back next year when this closes and the argument is "the parking lot was always full"

Anonymous said...

Yes, Anonymous, you ARE missing out: Chamblee happens to have one of the best NY style pizza places around town. It's very...unassuming..in and out. Called "The Real New York Pizzeria," next to Big Lots on Chamblee Tucker.