Chipotle also wants to be the Chipotle of pizza

Last week, I wrote about the growing number of pizza spots that are offering a fast-casual version of the cheesy, crusty favorite.

Many of the owners of these uber-fast pizza places reference the same concept in explaining their restaurant: Chipotle. They all want to be the “Chipotle of pizza.”

Well, as it turns out so does Chipotle. The Wall Street Journal broke the news Wednesday that the Denver-based company has been testing out a pizza concept in its hometown, Denver, Colo., for the past 18 months.

Most of these pizzerias claim to be able to bake your pizza in under two minutes, which is the benchmark Chipotle is going for, WSJ reports. The company has engineered a gas-fired oven that distributes heat more evenly than a wood-fired oven and cooks pizza at about 1,000 degrees Farenheit.

If Chipotle starts rolling out the pizza spot, called Pizzeria Locale, in D.C., it’ll be the third brand from Chipotle in the area. The company also piloted ShopHouse, a southeast Asian concept, in the D.C. region and now has several locations open or planned here.

In the area, Pizzeria Locale would join the ranks of & Pizza (pronounced “and pizza”) and Custom Fuel, which are already open; along with Bergami’s, D.C. Pizza, Pie Five and Blaze Pizza, which are all planned.

It remains to be seen whether there’s a market for so many pizza places; last week, Pie Five pizza said that franchisee Alyse Cohen could open up to 38 locations in the area. Add those to the others that are planned, and soon, every neighborhood will be swimming in pizza options.


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