Last year, locally-owned and operated Fired Pie, exploded on the dining scene in the Valley as the first fast-casual pizza restaurant. Today, the eatery announces plans to double their store locations by fall of 2014, going from four to eight. The fast-casual movement has continued to see an upward trend. For the fifth consecutive year it has far surpassed that of every other restaurant segment, according to research from The NPD Group.
“We are responding to the demand of all the pizza lovers in the community,” said Fred Morgan, one of the restaurants three founders. “We are listening to our customers and opening up more locations.”
The restaurant group has opened its fifth location off Greenway-Hayden Loop and Scottsdale Road in North Scottsdale. A downtown location is set to open at the Collier Center off 2nd and Jefferson streets and another location will open in downtown Tucson on the corner of Congress & Broadway. The eighth location will open in Ahwatukee Foothills at the Towne Center complex off Ray Rd and I-10.
On Wednesday, June 25th, Fired Pie will be giving away one free pizza or salad (per person) at their newest location off Greenway-Hayden Loop and Scottsdale Road. This is for dine-in only. The fast casual pizza restaurant is giving out the free entrees all day June 25th (at this specific location) in honor of the opening of their fifth restaurant. The newest store opens today and is located at 15425 N Scottsdale Rd #100 in Scottsdale.
“We are excited to launch in a new market as we feel there is a lot of growth in Tucson,” said Co-Founder Doug Doyle. “We are excited to expand to the southern half of the state.”
Fired Pie allows you to take on the role of chef by picking and choosing your own type of dough, sauce and toppings. The sophisticated-yet-affordable pizzeria also offers build-your-own salads. The concept behind the restaurant was born from the minds of Morgan, Doyle and Rico Cuomo. The trio worked together for more than 15 years, rising through the ranks of California Pizza Kitchen. They found themselves brainstorming about the art of making a great pizza pie: dough, sauce, cheese, fresh herbs, meats, sourcing local and organic ingredients—and knew with the right precision, they would create and build a pizza empire.
“On any given night you will see one of us working behind the counter,” says Cuomo. “We are hands on and proud of what we do and what we have been able to accomplish thus far.”
Here’s the beautiful thing about Fired Pie: In less time than a typical commercial break, the staff at Fired Pie can make you a fresh pizza that suits your taste and specifications.
Fired Pie is the latest Chipotle-inspired build-your-own-meal, fast-casual dining concept to hit the Valley. The creation of veteran restaurateur Fred Morgan — the former CEO of Oregano’s — and partners Doug Doyle and Rico Cuomo, Fired Pie’s pizzas take three minutes to bake in a brick oven after customers choose their sauce, cheese, meats, vegetables and herbs.
“The fast-casual concept is really exploding,” Morgan said. “What we’ve been able to do here is create a concept that delivers high-quality gourmet pizza at a cost and convenience that appeals to the customer.”
During a recent visit to Fired Pie, that concept created a taste sensation.
We opted to try a pizza and the Steak & Blue, one of Fired Pie’s signature salads. Signature pizzas include Hawaiian barbecue with barbecue sauce, mozzarella, Canadian bacon, pineapple and cilantro; meaty Italian with tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, salami, capicola and sausage; and tomato basil with two types of mozzarella, tomato, basil and garlic. We chose to build our own pizza with tomato sauce, pepperoni and fresh mozzarella.
Pizzas and salads are $7.75, regardless of the number of toppings.
During our visit, both dishes were exceptional. I grew up in an Italian family in New York, eating amazing homemade pizzas that my Italian grandmother spent all day preparing, so I am very discriminating when it comes to Italian food. But I can honestly say that Fired Pie’s pizzas match or exceed the quality of other Valley pizza restaurants, and they even give my grandmother a run for her money. Sorry, Grandma. The quality of the ingredients far exceed the expectations one would have from a high-end Italian restaurant, let alone a fast-casual restaurant. But Fired Pie takes that fast-casual concept to a whole new level.
The great thing for me is that one of Fired Pie’s location is at Park Central Mall, which is right across the street from my Central Phoenix office. And customers are already lining up to take advantage of the three-minute cooking time that makes a Fired Pie pizza a healthy lunch option for downtown workers.
If you do decide to get off the healthy train for a moment, words cannot adequately express the mouth-watering deliciousness of the Fired Pookie, Fired Pie’s soft-baked chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream that only costs $3.
Trust me on this one. If Fired Pie doesn’t have you at pizza, they’ll hook you by Pookie.
Fired Pie has locations at 3049 W. Agua Fria Freeway, Deer Valley Towne Center, Phoenix; 3110 N. central Ave., Phoenix; and one coming soon to Chandler.
For more information, visit firedpie.com.