Toppers Pizza, a Wisconsin based chain that has about 80 locations nationwide, is looking to open its first Louisiana restaurant near LSU by the spring.
Dr. David Arrington, who has a dental practice in Gonzales, is serving as the local franchisee with his son, Ashton. Arrington said while no firm location is locked down, he's hoping to reach a deal in the next 30 days. Ashton Arrington said they're eying Tigerland as a potential site. Plans are to hire about 20 to 30 workers in the restaurant, which will be about 1,500 square feet.
While pizza restaurants aren't in short supply around LSU, the Arringtons said Toppers has several advantages over other chains. The first is that all of the dough is made daily in the restaurants and the pies are topped with fresh Wisconsin cheese. "For the quality and the taste, it's a superior pizza," David Arrington said.
The second is that Toppers stays open until 3:30 a.m. every day for carryout and delivery, unlike some of the other chains that close at 10 p.m. on the weekdays. That's good news for night owls, service industry employees who don't get off until well after 10 p.m. and students staying up late studying (or partying). "When there are no other options, you can still get a pizza," Ashton Arrington said.
Mark Cairns, director of franchise development for Toppers, said the chain has been talking with the Arringtons for about three years now. The plan is for Ashton, who has worked for a variety of pizza restaurants, to serve as operating partner.
While the Arringtons are committed to opening two Baton Rouge restaurants, Cairns said the local market can support between six or eight locations. "There's plenty of real estate," he said.