A national pizza chain has plans to slide into Richmond.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria plans to open in the fall at Chesterfield Towne Center in a 3,500-square-foot space that was formerly home to Coldwater Creek, a women’s fashion store, near Macy’s. The company has a 10-year lease on the space.
Grimaldi’s sells thin-crust pizza – an 18-inch two-topping pie costs between $22 and $24 – and calzones baked in coal-burning ovens. The Richmond Grimaldi’s will sell beer and wine. The restaurant doesn’t do delivery, but takeout is available.
The Southside location will be Grimaldi’s first restaurant in Virginia. The chain dates back 100 years and has 35 locations in nine states. Grimaldi’s, owned by Joe Ciolli, is also opening its first locations in Michigan and Alabama.
Rouse Properties has owned the Chesterfield Towne Center since 2013. Grimaldi’s president and COO Eric Greenwald said the New York-based REIT made an offer Grimaldi’s couldn’t refuse.
“When we saw Chesterfield Towne Center it was exciting,” Greenwald said. “The tenant mix fit our niche.”
The mall is home to a Sears, Macy’s, T.J. Maxx, JCPenny, and a slew of other retailers and eateries. A Zumiez and an H&M are also in the works for the mall. In January, Wet Seal, a women’s fashion chain, downsized its number of stores and closed its location at Chesterfield Towne Center.
Greenwald said it would cost about $1 million to open at the shopping center, more than $250,000 of which is coming from the pizza company. The rest is being financed with help from Alliance Bank and Rouse Properties.
Greenwald said Grimaldi’s caters to families.
“Ninety percent of the time your children tell you where to eat,” Greenwald said. “We’re really going after families – that’s our target market.”
Greenwald said Grimaldi’s plans to open a total of 12 new locations this year. After about a year, Grimaldi’s will consider opening more restaurants in Richmond.
“With anything we do, we like to do a test,” Greenwald said. “More than 50 percent of the time our guests will educate us on areas to look at.”