Pizza Artista beer wall

Joshua Drake with FN Beer Guys installing the beer wall Thursday at Pizza Artista. 

Lafayette-based Pizza Artista has signed a lease to open its first Baton Rouge location in the Rouzan development and hopes to be in business within a year.

The restaurant will take up 2,700 square feet in a shopping center that will be built at the corner of Perkins Road and Rouzan Boulevard, across from the soon-to-open Sprouts Farmers Market, said Brent Struthers, an agent with Beau Box Commercial Real Estate who represents Pizza Artista.

Pizza Artista, which has locations in Lafayette, Lake Charles and a franchise in Broussard, allows customers to craft their own pies using a broad range of toppings, or choose from a variety of pizzas. The signature pies run the gamut from a classic Margarita with fresh basil, tomatoes and mozzarella, to a Boucherie pie, topped with boudin, smoked Cajun sausage, American cheese and Steen’s syrup.

The pizzas are then cooked in a brick oven, allowing customers to get a customized meal in about 10 minutes. “They’re similar to other pizza concepts, but what really separates them is their homemade sauce and the crust,” Struthers said. “The crust is really good.”

Along with selling pizzas, salads and wings, Pizza Artista will have a self-service tap system that allows customers to get their favorite beer or wine without waiting for a bartender or waiter.

The chain is owned by Scott and Cynthia McClaskey and Kirk Miller, all veteran pizza restaurant operators.

Pizza Artista hopes the Rouzan location will help drive franchise sales in markets east of the city, Struthers said. “They’re looking at other sites around Louisiana and Baton Rouge,” he said. “This will be a great first store and they’re hoping it will be one of five to open up in the Baton Rouge MSA in the next couple of years.”

Acadiana Business Today: After surprisingly slow start to 2019, Lafayette Parish home sales recover in March; Pizza Artista to open Baton Rouge location

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.