While a number of Chicago-style pizza restaurants have closed in recent months in metro Phoenix, several California-based pizza restaurants have managed to move in. For those who love the thinner crust variations of California-style pizza, this should be good news. And now, a popular chain based out of Oakhurst, California is opening up shop.
Pizza Factory does have a small footprint here in Arizona, although it has lacked a presence in the Valley after its Buckeye location closed down. But now, the chain will make its return to metro Phoenix this summer as its latest destination opens up in Mesa.
The original Pizza Factory went by the name of Red Devil Pizza after Danny and Carol Wheeler purchased a struggling pizza parlor in Oakhurst, which is just outside of Yosemite National Park back in 1979. The subsequent restaurant, which they opened in Mariposa, became the first restaurant to go by the name of Pizza Factory.
The Wheelers continued with the restaurant as it franchised itself and began to expand during the subsequent decades. However, in 2012, the couple sold their stake in the chain to Mary Jane Riva, a woman who had operated her own franchise in Murrieta, California since 1989.
The restaurant is predominantly located in California. It can be found throughout the state, although it hasn’t pushed into San Diego as of yet. It also has select restaurants in Idaho, Washington, Arizona, plus a handful in greater Dallas, as well as one in Athens, Georgia. There are three restaurants currently open in Arizona. One can be found in Williams (just west of Flagstaff), in Payson, and Show Low, which is just to the north of the Fort Apache Reservation. The new Mesa location will be its lone location in metro Phoenix, although Pizza Factory is not putting off the possibility of attempting to expand further in the region.
As of right now, there is no official opening date set for the new Mesa restaurant, although it will be located on the corner of Southern and Gilbert. This will be close to the Target shopping center.
For anyone that has not visited a Pizza Factory in the past, there is more than pizza on the menu. It also includes pastas, calzones, a number of sandwiches, salads and soups, plus a few dessert pizzas and cookies. Guests can either eat inside of the restaurant, or they can order for delivery directly through the website. To stay on top of when the Mesa location is set to open, it’s best to check in with the Pizza Factory website for updates.