MONCTON – The Moncton location of a popular Saint John area wood-fired pizzeria will open in the next 10 days.
Pomodori Pizzeria, a quick service Neapolitan Pizzeria chain with headquarters in Rothesay and a second location in Uptown Saint John, will open at 686 St. George Boulevard in Moncton before January 20, says Mike O’Pray, who co-owns the Moncton location with his wife Adrienne.
“The concept’s the same, the menu is the same. The one big change here is we’ll actually be serving draft beer on tap – Moosehead and some local craft beers,” he said. “They don’t have that in Rothesay; they’re connected to Picaroons in the Uptown Saint John location, but this is definitely a little bit of an addition.”
The Moncton location will have a bar area for casual gatherings and drinks in the neighbourhood.
Mike, who is president of the O’Pray Sports Agency, and Adrienne, who is CEO of the New Brunswick Business Council, are good acquaintances of the chain’s co-founder Janice MacPherson and long-time fans of Pomodori.
“I think it’s food that needs to be shared all over,” Mike said. “I just felt like they have a really cool thing in Saint John and I’ve loved it since the day they opened. And I felt that Moncton would love this place. It’s just food that makes you feel good – fresh ingredients, everything made in house.”
The O’Prays originally planned to open the restaurant in October, but construction delays pushed the date to January.
The restaurant will have a seating capacity of 101, with slightly different decor than other Pomodori locations.
“[The owners of Pomodori] were very upfront and encouraging about making it into a space that’s going to work for this part of Moncton,” Mike said. “Definitely, you know you’re walking into a Pomodori, but it’s an evolution of what they have.”
The O’Prays have hired nine full-time and eight part-time staff, with plans to hire a few more part-timers. While the couple has delegated the day-to-day operations to a general manager, they’ll still be around.
“One of the things that we want to do is just to be in and out of a restaurant that our friends can enjoy,” Mike said.
This is Pomodori Pizzeria’s first franchise location.