The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday October 19th

Pizza places abound on Franklin Street

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MidiCi will join the eight pizza restaurants on Franklin Street.

The California-based pizza chain is to open in the winter under Top of the Hill and across the street from the newly established pizza restaurant Lotsa. In addition to Lotsa, the area is already home to Italian Pizzeria III, Benny Cappella’s, Artisan Pizza Kitchen, Mellow Mushroom, Toppers Pizza, Papa Johns and I Love NY Pizza.

Lotsa Chief Operating Officer Anthony DiGangi said he doesn’t resent the competition, but instead embraces it. He said the business knew about the varying pizza establishments on Franklin Street but still chose to open a location there. 

“We’re not really concerned about the competition,” DiGangi said. “Things are going really well for us right now, and we’re excited for basketball season.”

DiGangi said he doesn’t worry about MidiCi’s proximity to Lotsa. He said he believes that they cater to different markets, and Lotsa’s focus on fast service and low prices will continue to draw the crowds. 

“Everyone finds their niche, I think you’ll see our price point is better suited for students,” DiGangi said. 

DiGangi said Lotsa is unique because of their quick, efficient service and fresh ingredients.

“We’re the only pizza place where you can get a fresh pizza in under two and a half minutes, cooked,” DiGangi said. “Everywhere else just sits there all day. Here, you walk in, and the pizza is cooked and made right in front of you.”

Wilson Rogers, owner of APK, shared similar thoughts about the competition on Franklin Street. Rogers said the local competition wasn't so much a concern as much as the food trucks that come in for special events.

“We’re the little restaurant that can,” Rogers said. “What makes us special is our dough that we make in house.”

APK makes fresh dough for both their pizzas and sandwiches on a daily basis. When possible, they use locally sourced ingredients. 

“We do some things differently,” Rogers said.  “We’re home to the artichoke pizza, which is really creamy and just a wonderful tasting piece of pizza.”

Rogers emphasized APK’s commitment to the Chapel Hill area. 

“We have a steady following of folks,” Rogers said.  “And we’re in Chapel Hill because we want to be here in Chapel Hill.”

The new store will cater to both students and families, said Brandon Roberts, the regional manager for MidiCi’s Chapel Hill location. He also said MidiCi features fast dining at reasonable prices. They offer some non-GMO products and a number of ingredients sourced from Italy. 

Roberts said MidiCi puts effort into creating a setting that is reminiscent of fine dining, while still keeping prices low. They also strive to create a place where people can have fun with their friends. 

“If you walk by our sign, you’ll see, ‘We bring friends together,'” Roberts said. “That’s kind of our thing. It’s what we focus on.”


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