A new Columbus restaurant that is preparing to open its doors to the hungry and thirsty masses is serving up an extremely tasty offer to the first 100 people in line at its upcoming grand opening — free pizza for a year.
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, located at 6581 Whittlesey Blvd., in the Columbus Park Crossing development, plans to offer the sweet deal as it opens at 11 a.m. Monday. The 6,738-square-foot restaurant with 232 seats has been under construction nearly six months.
“I believe the town’s just as excited as we are,” said David Stinson, one of the restaurant’s managers, of Old Chicago’s debut across from the new Academy Sports and Outdoors. It’s also part of a recent building blitz that brought a Fazoli’s Italian eatery to the area, while a new convenience store is moving toward completion in November on the parcel of land.
Stinson said the grand opening offer to the first 100 people in line Monday comes with a packet that has coupons for a free pizza each month for 12 months, with it adding up to a value of about $300 value.
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“Oh yeah, the large pizzas, those things are upwards of 25 bucks each,” he said.
Stinson said the restaurant’s staff is now in place and has been training for the big moment next week, which included a couple of months of instruction for himself in Colorado, where Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom is headquartered.
“I left a job that I was at for 14 years to come to this,” said Stinson, who was with Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Columbus before moving to Old Chicago. “This is my hometown and it’s actually local guys that are doing it. If I can support local on the north end, that’s phenomenal.”
The Old Chicago Pizza menu includes a variety of pizzas with names that include Chicago 7, Double Deckeroni, Hawaiian, Meat Me, The Classic, Veggie 7, Classic Margherita, Italian Grinder, Steak and Beer Cheese, Thai Pie and Tuscan Chicken with Spinach.
The restaurant chain also offers more than 110 craft beers and is known for its “World Beer Tour” that rewards customers who sample the array of brew. More than 30 of the craft beers are on tap.
Dhruv Patel is a franchise partner in Columbus-based Shiv Restaurant Management, which has spent $1,768,300 on construction alone on Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, which will be the first for the restaurant chain in Georgia.
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom dates to 1976, but is now owned and operated with a mix of company and franchise locations — more than 100 in 24 states — by CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc., which has corporate offices in Broomfield, Colo., and Chattanooga, Tenn.
While Monday is the grand opening for the Columbus restaurant, it is having soft opening events this weekend to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of West Georgia. It also will donate $1 for every Chicago 7 pizza sold Monday through Nov. 11 to the nonprofit organization.