Zpizza closing original location but will reopen

Zpizza is shutting its ovens at its original location in South Laguna on Tuesday, ending a 26-year run there.

However, the pizza shop won't be leaving the city where it got its start, Operations Manager Summer Tarango said.

Although Zpizza is leaving 30902 Coast Hwy., in seven months it plans to reopen in the same shopping center, where Animal Crackers Pet Rescue is currently located.

"We're sorry to see Animal Crackers go, but we're grateful to get the spot," she said. "They do amazing work. We're wishing them luck in looking for a location that's appropriate for them."

Back in March, Zpizza founder Sid Fanarof confirmed they were asked to vacate the premises in April after a five-year lease option was not exercised. However, in May, the landlord granted an extension that allowed them to stay over summer, the busiest time for the restaurant.

"Grown out of an art colony, art was inspiration of our brand...That's what we talk about on our box," Fanarof said in March. "To lose that emotional connection to our town would be emotionally devastating."

The new location is larger, and Fanarof is working with an architect on the design. Plans include an exposed kitchen, where customers can view the pizza-making process from dough to the oven, and a community table for large families and kids' pizza parties.

Tarango said there was never a question that Zpizza would leave Laguna Beach. The community has been immensely supportive and they'd made an effort to contact as many locals as possible to let them know about the closure, she said.

In the meantime they encourage patrons to go to the Crystal Cove and Aliso Viejo locations. Laguna's employees will be working at those stores temporarily, until the new store opens next year.

It was important to close on Tuesday, Tarango said, because they wanted to end it on one of their favorite times of the week: local night.

On Tuesday, any local can get an extra-large pizza for half off.


Twitter: @joannaclay

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