Seeking to expand its concept beyond its home state of Michigan, operators of Mr. Pita/Pita Depot restaurants have identified Cleveland as one of four new markets the chain has targeted for growth. The franchise restaurant chain plans to open 20 new Pita Depot restaurants in Cleveland by 2005.

“We have adopted a very systematic approach to expansion, focusing first on the Midwest,” said Frank Lombardo, founder and president of the chain. “Our concept has worked very well in Michigan, and the natural progression is for us to expand into neighboring states.”

In addition to expansion into the Cleveland market, Mr. Pita plans to open an additional 85 restaurants in its home state of Michigan and other new markets by 2005. Columbus, Toledo and Chicago are other markets the chain has identified for growth.

The company currently operates 33 locations in Michigan under the Mr. Pita name. Outside the state, its restaurants will carry the Pita Depot nameplate.

Mr. Pita offers a wide variety of fresh, high quality rolled pita sandwiches, garden salads and homemade soups. The chain was featured as a “One to Watch” in the May 1999 issue of QSR Magazine.