SAINT JOHN – A popular Saint John area wood-fired pizzeria will open its first franchise location in Moncton this fall.
Pomodori co-founder Janice MacPherson says the idea to open a Moncton franchise has been in the works for a while, but plans were stalled when a fire forced Pomodori’s uptown Saint John location to close for repairs.
“When the fire took us out, it took all talk about that completely off the table, just because we had no time,” she says. “We had to focus on re-opening our restaurant.”
But with things now back up and running smoothly, MacPherson was able to reconnect with the interested franchisees, Mike and Adrienne O’Pray. Mike is the president of the O’Pray Sports Agency while Adrienne is the CEO of the New Brunswick Business Council. The couple is good acquaintances of MacPherson and long-time fans of Pomodori.
“We are extremely excited to bring this unique concept and amazing food experience to Greater Moncton,” said Mike O’Pray in a statement.
The new Moncton location will offer the full menu of existing Pomodori Pizzerias with additional food and beverage service in the mornings through espresso drinks and brunch pizzas. MacPherson says the overall look of the Moncton location will be a little different from their uptown Saint John and Rothesay locations. There will also be a bar area for more casual gatherings for drinks in the neighbourhood.
“We are going to carry various microbrews at that location with rotating taps. We’ve never done taps before and wine. We have a very casual speak-easy kind of area where people can just go hang out because that neighbourhood is really lacking in restaurants,” says MacPherson.
“There are lots of places to go downtown, there are lots of places up on Mountain Road and elsewhere, but not in this particular area and there are great neighbourhoods all around us. We wanted to be attractive for people just to come and enjoy either a snack or just a beer or wine in their local neighbourhood as well.”
Once the Moncton location is up and running, MacPherson says they are open to expanding to other areas both in and outside New Brunswick.
“The tricky part will be to find the right operators to open the franchises for us will be the big thing,” she says. “But we’re definitely open to it. We’re just going to try to focus on Moncton first and get them up and running, then we will be happy to talk to others about other cities for sure.”