Zpizza granted extension to stay at original site

New tenant Chase Bank is not ready to begin work on location. Landlord plans to keep pizzeria there as long as possible.

May 08, 2012|By Joanna Clay

Zpizza may keep its doors open at its original location through summer, thanks to an extension granted by its landlord.

The pizzeria had anticipated being booted from its location at 30902 Coast Hwy. on April 16, after being told in March that it had 30 days to vacate the space due to its five-year lease option not being exercised.

The Laguna Beach spot is the origin of the artisan-style pizza company, which now has restaurants across the U.S., Middle East and Asia. It all started 26 years ago with local founder Sid Fanarof and a pizza oven.


Zpizza Operations Manager Summer Tarango said they were planning to stay until they were kicked out.

She said on April 13 they received notice that they'd have through August, which was good news because the summer is the pizzeria's busiest season.

Fanarof is scouting other locations in South Laguna, not far from Zpizza's first spot, according to Tarango. They are already in negotiations with two spaces, she said.

Stephen Robertson, chairman of Shelter Bay Retail Group, which manages the shop's location, said he has been in consistent contact with Fanarof during the past couple of months and let him know an extension was probable because Chase Bank, the new tenant, wasn't prepared to begin work on the location.

Robertson said he will try to keep Fanarof in the location for as long as possible and hopes to have a relocation space available in the shopping center.

Tarango said they don't want customers to stop patronizing or worry that the healthy pizza joint is going away.

"The truth is we might end up closing a couple months while building another store, but we're definitely not closing for good," she said.

Twitter: @joannaclay

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