A D.C.-based pizza joint is grabbing a second slice of the Richmond market.
&pizza has signed on to open at in the former Willow Lawn Dairy Queen space at 1601 Willow Lawn Drive, Suite 305, which will be the company’s second location once another planned shop opens in the former BonChon space near VCU.
Known for its oblong, skateboard-shaped pizzas, &pizza was founded in 2012 and has 35 stores throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, with the majority in its hometown of Washington, D.C.
“We’re expanding markets this year, and have been for the last year,” said &pizza spokeswoman Charae Carter Jenkins. “We’re venturing into Richmond and looking to get into New Jersey.”
It’s aiming to open both the VCU and Willow Lawn locations in the late spring, Carter Jenkins said. She said each &pizza location has about 25 people on staff.
Its pizzas start around $10 and are available for takeout, sit down or delivery. It offers only pizza, but Carter Jenkins said they’re testing out other items, such as garlic knots, in New York.
&pizza is set to arrive about a year after another pizza chain pulled out of Willow Lawn. Pie Five Pizza Co. closed its lone Richmond location last spring. Other tenants en route to Willow Lawn include Vietnamese restaurant Pho 95 Hai Ky Mi Gia and fitness studio Row House.
Across the street from Willow Lawn, Freshii, a Canadian chain offering salads, burritos, bowls and wraps, closed its location in Willow Lawn Plaza in recent weeks after a little under three years there. Freshii still operates a location in VCU’s student commons.
And as &pizza prepares to open its VCU location on North Laurel Street, another D.C.-area-based pizza chain is setting up shop nearby. Paisano’s Pizza is preparing to open in the 805W building at 805 W. Cary St.