It may be a dream come true for many Anza school students and their families who have long-sought a place of fun and good food. For Anza resident Jordan Gitlin, the co-owner of the new Pizza Factory family restaurant franchise coming soon to Anza on Barham Road, his dream is coming true.
Pizza Factory, with locations throughout the West Coast, settled on opening its latest store on the urging of Gitlin, a longtime Pizza Factory employee. Gitlin, an Anza resident and a former, though short time, student, at Hamilton High School, convinced the corporate officers of the family pizza restaurant to come to the Anza village last year. It didn’t take long for the corporate visitors to see the village as a perfect place for the pizza restaurant, since few family oriented restaurants like Pizza Factory are located in the mountain community.
Bob Giffin, Overland Realty broker, who is leasing the land to the Pizza Factory, said “We have been waiting a long time for a business like this in our community and family oriented town.”
Gitlin said Anza is the perfect place for a Pizza Factory and his corporate sponsors are in agreement.
“I always wanted to bring something that works to Anza. A family oriented place where parents and kids can relax, have fun and eat.”
Pizza Factory restaurants from Oregon to Arizona bring with them friendly places where family and friends can meet seven days a week to enjoy favorite American foods and of course pizza at reasonable prices. In Anza, the Pizza Factory, like its other franchises, including the one in nearby Temecula, promises to bring a great variety of pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, a lunch buffet, soft drinks, beer and wine to families. A takeout and delivery service for food items on the menu will also be offered
Children coming to the Pizza Factory will find a game room, filled with the latest electronic games, to enjoy. Parents will have plenty room in the 88-seat restaurant to watch their favorite sports teams at plan on the LCD TVs set up in the dining room. There is even a room for businesses or families to meet privately for meetings or private parties.
“The people visiting our Pizza Factory will find everything inside from the dining room, bathrooms and commercial kitchen, completely new,” said Gitlin.
But, even better for the community may be Pizza Factory’s long term effort to support the local schools, children in the community and nonprofits dedicated to helping others. Pizza Factory’s nationally recognized “No Bully Zone” program is a corporate effort reaching out to all franchisees to stop the “bullying epidemic” that affects everyone from the children to the family. The corporation partners with local schools and workplaces to stop the spread of bullying, whether verbal, cyber of physical that last a lifetime. “No Bully Zone” T-shirts will be available at the restaurant, Gitlin said.
Gitlin said they are planning to many weekly activities including family days and Sunday Football, and plan to help sponsor some local sports teams and other community activities after the grand opening like other Pizza Factory’s have done.
He said the Pizza Factory grand opening should be sometime in April.
“We are now 80 percent complete,” said Gitlin last week. “We have been working for the last six months putting in major renovations. Everything is new.”
Gitlin has years of experience working for Pizza Factory restaurants. Landing his first job at the age of 16. He said while his parents moved to Anza when he was in high school he still wanted to work at the Temecula Pizza Factory. He moved to keep his work close, but always looked to bring a Pizza Factory to Anza and owning a franchise.
“That has always been my goal,” he said.
Gitlin has delighted in the progress being made at the old Whiskey River Café site, but like many others said the required permitting process through Riverside County was his greatest challenge like so many other businesses are finding in the Anza area. However, Gitlin, married with one son, will soon see his goal achieved.