Project Pie, a California-based build-your-own pizza restaurant franchise, will open its first Michigan restaurants this November in downtown Royal Oak and West Bloomfield Township.
“Our brand focuses itself on being an anti-chain, chain — every location is unique,” says Todd Holden, co-owner of Project Pie. “We think Royal Oak allows us to bring a lot of individuality to the store. We thought (West Bloomfield) was a great area with a cool building to continue our mantra of being unique in the space.”
The Royal Oak restaurant, located in the former Incognito Inc. space at 323 S. Main Street and Fourth Street, and the West Bloomfield Township restaurant at 7389 Orchard Lake Rd. (near 14 Mile), will offer specialty pizzas and salads, along with build your own individual pizzas and salads with 30 different ingredient options such as cilantro, roasted Brussels sprouts, grilled chicken, and gorgonzola, ranging from $6 to $8.
“Our dough is fresh prepared every day, our signature tomato sauce with basil is made in house every day, and our ingredients are very high quality,” Holden says. “We want people to enjoy great pizza, custom build it how they like it, and have a great time and want to come back.”
Holden and his business partner are actively looking for more locations around metro Detroit. They have exclusive franchise rights to Michigan and Ohio, and plan to build 35 to 40 Project Pies in the next five to seven years.
Both locations will have industrial décor. At nearly 2,500 square feet, the Royal Oak restaurant will feature an outdoor service area on the Fourth Street sidewalk, three garage doors opening to the outside of the business, and have extended late-night, weekend hours. The West Bloomfield restaurant, at 2,700 square feet, will feature a rooftop patio.
“Any activity we can spur from unique establishments, such as Project Pie, is good for the overall Main Street area,” says Todd Fenton, economic development manager of Royal Oak.