DC pizza chain is ready for NYC

WASHINGTON — It takes confidence to think you can take your pizza to New York City. Confidence and a big investment — &pizza has both.

D.C.’s homegrown pizza chain &pizza just landed a $25 million investment from Boston-based investment company AVALT, and it will use the money for expansion to New York and other markets.

&pizza’s first New York location will open in the NoMad neighborhood near Madison Square Park in mid-2017.

&pizza has already been in growth mode.

Earlier this year, it expanded to Baltimore and Philadelphia; and it is opening six new locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. That will bring it to 21 locations by the end of the year.

“Due to the success we have enjoyed and achieved to date, &pizza generated significant investment interest,” said CEO Michael Lastoria in a statement.

AVALT’s other investments have included Outback Steakhouse, Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin’ Donuts.

&pizza opened its first location in D.C. in 2012.

&pizza, whose oblong-shaped pizzas cook in a matter of minutes using the sauces, ingredients and cheeses customers select from a Chipotle-like assembly line, calls its employees “Tribe members.”

It said some 60 Tribe Members and another 25 customers have had the ampersand symbol from its name tattooed on their body.

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