ASHEBORO — Area residents will have to wait just a little longer to get a look at the return of Pizza Inn to Asheboro.
Renovations are under way at the former Uptown Charlie location in Center Pointe Plaza close to Walmart at 1216 E. Dixie Drive.
The coming end result: Change the building into the latest, first-of-its-kind in the U.S. concept restaurant for Pizza Inn.
Restauranteur and Asheboro resident Dion Firooznia is behind the return. This will be his second Pizza Inn restaurant. He opened the first in Elizabethton, TN. It is part of an agreement he has with the chain’s owner, Rave Restaurant Group.
“We’ve had some delays, but we’re past all that now,” Firooznia said late last week.
He said exterior upgrades and electrical work are under way now. The next phase will be completing sheet-rock work and interior design inside.
“I hope that inspectors will hand over the building to me around the end of March or the first of April,” he said.
Then, Firooznia said, he will concentrate on building a staff of around 70 employees.
“I know it can be a tough environment for hiring. I had concerns when I was hiring in Elizabethton over a year ago,” he said. “But we were able to do it. I plan to offer competitive wages and a good work environment.”
Firooznia has lived in Asheboro since 2008 but he is originally from Hamburg, Germany. He moved to the U.S. at age 16.
He has been in the restaurant industry his entire life, first as an employee, then in management and now as an owner. Before becoming a Pizza Inn franchisee, he was a franchise business consultant for Rave Restaurant Group.
He will be operating under the name, D2 Restaurant Group.
The new Pizza Inn concept restaurant will feature house-made dough that is made from scratch every morning. The restaurant will offer a pizza buffet, salad bar, pasta bar and dessert buffet as well as delivery and carryout.
According to official information, families can enjoy a party room tailor-made for birthdays and sports gatherings with an Instagrammable “say cheese” accent wall, game room and other fun elements.
Firooznia said despite the delay, he hopes customers will enjoy the experience when the restaurant opens this spring.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.