This Small, Fast-Casual Pizza Chain Closed All of Its Locations
Several restaurant chains have announced closures this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. TGI Friday's, Ruby Tuesday, Souplantation, and more struggled amid new safety measures and stay-at-home mandates. Local reporters and residents believe one Columbus, Ohio, pizza chain is seeing a similar fate, but the company has seemingly disappeared. Usually, companies release press releases and statements related to changes in their business. But Pizza Cucinova appears to have closed all five of its locations without notice.
Vivaria Group owns the pizza chain, which it bought from Sbarro only two years ago. When the pandemic hit, some locations shut their doors. Columbus Business First (CBF) notes that while the chain's website is still up and running, online ordering is deactivated for all of the Ohio locations (though orders for the Valley Ranch location in Houston still appear to work). In Columbus, the phones for the restaurants and Vivaria Group go straight to voicemail. (Other types of eateries have been struggling, as well—here are 9 Restaurant Chains That Closed Hundreds of Locations This Summer.)
The locations in Dublin, Easton, Grandview Heights, Westerville, and Houston, are reportedly dark—and have all their chairs stacked on the tables. There is no word on whether there are signs on the doors, or if any other statements have been made about the apparent closings. The Pizza Cucinova Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts are also quiet—and have been for years.
Open since 2013, the chain was Sbarro's attempt at a fast-casual, build-your-own pizza concept like Blaze Pizza, CBF reports. At one point, Cincinnati and Chicago had locations, but those have since closed.
It's been a tough year for pizza chains in 2020, and bad news remains in the press for California Pizza Kitchen. Back in July, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. An auction to sell the company's assets was canceled in early October after there were "no qualified bidders."
That's not all—This Beloved Fast-Food Pizza Chain Is Closing 300 Locations.