A pizza shop shuffle has brought an out-of-town chain to Henrico County barely a year after it opened its first area location in the Fan.
Pupatella now has two stores in the Richmond area after opening in the former Pie Five Pizza storefront at 10921 W. Broad St. in the Colonnades West shopping center near Innsbrook.
It’s the second location in the Richmond region for Pupatella franchisee Zeeshan Kaba, a Henrico native who opened his first restaurant in the former Rancho T space at 1 Morris St. in the Fan in 2017.
Kaba, who co-founded real estate website I-Agent.com and health supplement AllergEase, moved back to the region to launch Pupatella with the restaurant’s founder, Enzo Algarme, after securing franchising rights for the pizzeria.
Kaba said he has invested about $350,000 in the Innsbrook location, funded in part by a $297,500 Small Business Administration loan from Virginia Community Capital.
The 2,500-square-foot Innsbrook eatery seats about 108 people, Kaba said, and employs nearly 20 full- and part-time workers.
Pupatella is working with UberEats and Grubhub to provide delivery to the surrounding residential neighborhoods and office buildings.
Eventually, the location will offer catering services, but Kaba said that will take some time.
“I want to make sure that we are delivering on the high quality of service in the restaurant before we branch out and offer catering,” Kaba said. “But given the amount of offices in the area, that’s naturally a next step for us.”
Much like its location in the Fan, the Innsbrook location serves Neapolitan-style pizzas, such as its Classica DOC pizza made with Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil; and its spinach white pizza made with Italian cream, roasted red peppers, pine nuts, feta cheese and spinach.
All of its pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven at 800 to 1,000 degrees and use natural ingredients in its dishes.
Other menu items include its dessert pizza made with a Nutella base that’s covered in fresh fruit. The Innsbrook location also serves Henrico-based DeLuca Gelato.
A license to sell beer and wine at the location is pending, Kaba said.
With two locations staked in the region, Kaba said his third and possibly final frontier for Pupatella locally is Midlothian, in an area near Midlothian Turnpike and Route 288.
“That area is really growing and is very underserved when it comes to new restaurants,” Kaba said. “We hope to be in Midlothian this time next year.”
Pupatella’s Innsbrook location is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.