Fate of Pizza Factory still a toss-up

Rumors have been circulating about the fate of the local institution for weeks.
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An empty Pizza Factory. Photo by Taylor Buley

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Editor’s note: After this story appeared in print, the Express received two notices indicating the Pizza Factory was seeking a new owner for the local franchise. An updated version of our report appears here. What’s going on with the Pizza Factory? A sign posted outside says the restaurant “will not be open during construction.” Its Yelp profile says the business is “closed.” Gossip on social media suggests there’s new owners. But an investigation by the Express found none of these scenarios are fully true. The future of the now-darkened neighborhood pizza restaurant appears still-unbaked. As for the construction? “We have no building permit issued on that project, and to my knowledge we have no building permit application for that project,” City Building Official Gene Ashdown said. John Lorenzo, whose family owns the building in which Pizza Factory operated said there have been no changes to the building’s long-planned structural retrofit except for a window that was recently replaced. Lorenzo says the Pizza Factory owner, Azul Rea Enterprise Inc., “just locked up and left.” Gabriel Ibarra, the chief executive of Azul Rea Enterprise, declined to comment through a spokesperson affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce. Ibarra is a proprietor of Yolo Trader Bistro located just down the street from the pizza restaurant. “It looks like the Pizza Factory is going to reopen as Pizza Factory, corporate,” Lorenzo said. Inquiries to Pizza Factory corporate headquarters went unreturned. The Express was unable to obtain documents indicating a deal with corporate had been reached, suggesting the fate of the local pizza-tosser remains up in the air. The Pizza Factory has has been in Winters for over 30 years and has seen change in ownership before. According to Yolo County Records, in 2006 the fictitious business name was registered to Harold and Mary Ann Parks. In 2002, the business name was registered to Ryan O’Reilly. “We’re extremely happy for the business, not going to lie,” says Round Table Pizza regional manager Josie Stein. “For the first couple days we had no idea what was going on.” Round Table biggest problem while Pizza Factory’s doors remain shut? Staffing up for the increase in business. “It’s a fantastic problem to have,” says the businesswoman. ]]>

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