Some of Chicago's most famous deep dish pizza is headed to The Woodlands and three other Texas cities.
ATX Brands, which operates Texas "breastaurant" chain Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill, is partnering with Gino’s East to bring its iconic pizza to the Lone Star State. In addition to The Woodlands, Gino's East will land in Arlington, San Antonio and Austin.
"There's a hole in the Texas market for great deep dish pizza from Chicago."
This will be the first franchise outside of the Chicago area for Gino's East, which was founded in 1966. ATX Brands CEO and founder Doug Guller says the reason for the partnership is two-fold.
"Currently there's a hole in the Texas market for great deep dish pizza from Chicago and when I contacted Gino's East, they were super excited about coming to Texas," he says. "The other reason is that I lived there back in the late '90s and became a big fan of Gino's East, the Cubs and everything Chicago!"
Guller has been working with Gino's East since late 2013 on the project, but news of the brand's foray into Texas only recently surfaced. And where will the pizzeria's first stop be?
"Houston and San Antonio will be before Austin," Guller says. The Dallas Morning News reports that the first location should be open by November, with subsequent outlets opening approximately six weeks after each other. Guller notes that the Austin outpost should open by early Summer 2015.
While the Texas locations are still in the works, Guller is confident that the addition of Gino's East will fill a void. "[Texas] has attracted so many people from around the world and it's our hope that the deep dish pizza, as well as our thin crust, calzones, sandwiches and salads will satisfy that hunger," he says.