LaRosa’s Pizzeria recently closed a Dayton-area restaurant that had operated for 14 years in Beavercreek. It’s the second such closing of a suburban Dayton LaRosa’s in the last 18 months — and it comes less than four months after another pizza restaurant, Papa Murphy’s, closed its Beavercreek location.
But a spokesman for LaRosa’s told this news outlet in a phone interview that the Cincinnati-based chain remains “committed” to LaRosa’s three remaining Dayton-area restaurants are located: Kettering, Centerville and Englewood.
“LaRosa’s likes to serve those neighborhoods,” said Pete Buscani, executive vice president of marketing for LaRosa’s.
The Beavercreek location shut down after the close of business on Friday, March 23.
>> RELATED: Local pizza shop shuts down abruptly, lashes out at ‘corporate’ (December 2017)
“We could not really get consistent sales there,” despite a 14-year effort, Buscani said. Shutting down the store will allow the pizza chain to “double down” on focusing resources on the remaining three locations, he said.
The Dayton region’s pizza market has long been dominated by venerable hometown chains such as Cassano’s Pizza King and Marion’s Piazza; by national chains such as Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Little Caesar’s and Papa John’s; and by the dozens of smaller chains and single-store independents that call the Miami Valley home.
In recent years, however, other smaller, mostly regional chains have invaded those established market players’ turf. LaRosa’s — which operates 65 pizzerias in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee — was one of those regional chains, along with Godfather’s, Dewey’s and Jet’s, among others.
More recently, “fast-casual” pizza chains that focus on customized orders that are cooked in three minutes have added a new layer of competition. Kettering-based Rapid Fired Pizza has led that surge locally, and Seattle-based MOD Pizza operates two Dayton-area restaurants. A third competitor, Cleveland-based PizzaFire shut down its only Dayton-area location late last year.
LaRosa’s was founded in 1954 on Cincinnati’s West Side by Buddy LaRosa. It operates more than 60 pizzerias in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee.