Chipotle is officially getting out of the pizza business.
Pizzeria Locale, a fast-casual spinoff of a concept created by restaurateurs Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, will close permanently on Monday. Chipotle made an investment 10 years ago to kickstart development of the quick-service chain. The brand currently has five units in the Denver metro area, with the most recent one opening in January.
The Denver Post said Pizzeria Locale expanded to Cincinnati and Kansas City, but those restaurants shut down in 2018. A spokesperson confirmed to local publication Westword that Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson have not been involved in day-to-day operations for roughly a year.
"We have made the decision to close all five Pizzeria Locale restaurants on July 10 and dissolve the business," Laurie Schalow, Chipotle's chief corporate affairs officer, said in a statement to Westword. "Impacted employees have been extended employment opportunities at Chipotle restaurants in the Denver area."
The original Pizzeria Locale opened in Boulder, Colorado, in 2011 as a full-service contemporary pizzeria inspired by Naples, Italy. Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson opened it beside their Italian fine-dining concept, Frasca Food and Wine. This specific Pizzeria Locale location was not part of the new venture and wasn't associated with Chipotle in any way. It was rebranded to Pizzeria Alberico earlier in 2023.
Chipotle began investing in 2013, opening the first fast-casual Pizzeria Locale in a strip mall near one of its locations. Customers created their pizzas from a selection of ingredients in a service line, similar to how Chipotle operates. The pizzas were then placed in a high-temperature oven that bakes the item in fewer than two minutes.
At the time of the collaboration, Stuckey, Mackinnon-Patterson, and Chipotle founder Steve Ells had been friends for 10 years, and during much of that time, they discussed forming some type of partnership.