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Naked Pizza in Brighton to close, merge with existing Brookline shop

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  January 27, 2012 01:44 PM

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(Matt Rocheleau for Boston.com)

About one year ago, Naked Pizza restaurant opened its store along Washington Street near Brighton Center in a space that was formerly an Exxon gas station. The location will close next week, officials said today. Pictured during a ribbon-cutting last year, from left to right: Daniel Kraft's son, investor Daniel Kraft, City Councilor Felix Arroyo, City Councilor Mark Ciommo, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, owners Peter, Nova, Lilly, and Sophie Biro, State Rep. Kevin Honan, Brighton Main Streets director Rosie Hanlon, and business development office director Rafael Carbonell.

The local developer for Naked Pizza, a nationally expanding New Orleans-based pizza restaurant chain backed by the owners of the New England Patriots and the Dallas Mavericks, will close its Brighton franchise next week and merge that delivery-and-take-out location into a nearby shop in Brookline.

About one year after opening the two locations, the New England-area developer for the Naked Pizza chain announced today on its blog that -- as it looks to expand elsewhere in the area -- its store at 433 Washington St., in Brighton will move its operations into an existing Coolidge Corner location at 1331 Beacon St., staring on Monday.

"A few things make us optimistic about this change. First, we can serve 90 percent of Brighton delivery customers from our nearby Coolidge Corner store, and delivery is most of our Brighton business," says the blog post from Peter Biro, the owner of development company Third Slice. "Although we loved being part of the Brighton neighborhood in Brighton ... this is the right call for the business as we look to move into a growth mode."

The local development group says it is eyeing opportunities to open in Jamaica Plain, Porter Square and spots in the Metro West suburbs

And, as part of a nationwide effort, the developer said Naked Pizza is exploring how to expand its brand -- which focuses on serving healthy pizza -- by looking at "some new products, different sizing, a different pricing model, adding mobile payment, different idea on marketing, catering packages, and a lot of other things."

The news was reported on earlier today by blog Boston Restaurant Talk.

In September 2009, the Foxboro-based Kraft Group company, which owns the Patriots, announced it was investing in the Naked Pizza chain that was founded in 2006. The company's announcedment noted that Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and the founder of broadcast.com and HDnet, had also backed the restaurant chain.

"Thank you for your continued support," Biro concluded in his blog post today. "Sometimes in entrepreneurship, you need to retrench to set the stage for growth. Our mission includes throwing a scalable business at a big societal problem, so it's in this spirit that we combine our stores and look forward to the next phase of our evolution. The pace is about to pick up."

For more details about the two local store's merging, including a new delivery-area map, click here.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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