New pizza concept in the oven in Atlanta.
A new "artisan" pizza restaurant is scouting Atlanta for its first locations. Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads, an Atlanta-based restaurant without any physical location, has plans for at least two restaurants in metro Atlanta in the coming months.
While another site inaccurately reported that Rize was opening a physical restaurant at 1510 Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, that address will instead serve as the company's "Restaurant Support Center."
Interestingly, in the past few weeks, that other site has corrected their careless error, and more recently Rize seems to have suspended or deleted their facebook page from which the other site obtained their information. Rize does still have active Twitter and Instagram pages, but each has been quiet for months.
According to its website, "Rize was born from a passion for pizza, hospitality and great food prepared the right way."
"As hospitality experts with relentless spirit and a true love for our craft, we created this unique concept that will disrupt the fast casual dining world."
From what I've heard from a number of industry sources, Rize is aiming to be a family friendly, high quality, full service, economically priced, pizza restaurant. Plans reportedly call for the restaurant to offer assorted salads and gelato in addition to the many pizza options. Rize has no intention of being a "me-too" player in the quick serve pizza space, currently led by Blaze Pizza, Pieology and others like Atlanta's Uncle Maddio's Pizza.
While the plans for Rize sound good, the menu and plan sound eerily similar to another would-be pizza chain, Treza. Longtime ToNeTo readers will recall the struggles of Treza, which had hoped to become a growth concept in the upscale-casual pizza space. Opening in 2011 at TOWN Brookhaven, Treza offered gourmet pizza, gelato and assorted salads and tried to be very similar to what Rize is apparently trying to be. While Treza offered counter service rather than table service, the similarities in their growth ambitions and menu are uncanny. After closing briefly in 2012 to attempt a rebranding, Treza closed permanently in early 2014.
John D. Smith lists himself as Founder & CEO Rize Holdings, LLC ("A private equity backed holding company formed to acquire, develop and operate branded restaurant concepts with the potential to scale to a national footprint) on his LinkedIn page. The Rize website lists Smith as Founder CEO of Rize Artisan Pizza. While I found Smith challenging to deal with in my one conversation with him, I'm left to assume that Rize Holdings is the holding company in which Rize Artisan Pizza is being held, and with luck, grown.
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