The Denver-based company is backing a chain of upscale pizza restaurants known as Pizzeria Locale, which services artisan-style Neapolitan pizza.
Chipotle said in a release on Wednesday that it has partnered with Pizzeria Locale owners Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson to launch a fast-casual concept under the pizza restaurant's name. The first location opened in May in Denver, with plans for two more there, Chipotle said.
The partners are planning a "slow, measured expansion" of the concept that "allows the restaurant to perfect the concept and service model, and to develop from within the people it will need to staff additional restaurants," the press release said.
Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson's other ventures, Frasca Food and Wine, and the original Pizzeria Locale, opened in early 2011, sit adjacent to each other in Boulder, Colo.. They aren't part of this partnership and are not affiliated in any way with Chipotle.
Chipotle shares were falling 0.22% to $511.49 on Wednesday.
|Chipotle partners with Pizzeria Locale owners, Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, to create a fast-casual pizza concept.|
Clearly the burrito-chain sees opportunity in retooling popular eats into a more Chipotle-like experience. That means high-quality ingredients, a quick and "interactive" service line like Chipotle and, of course, creating a cult-like following that means lines wrapped around the corner for a typical workday lunch experience.