Tucson restaurateur Grant Bennett knows how to throw a restaurant grand opening.
From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, he’s giving away free pizzas, pastas and salads to herald the arrival of his Pionic Pizza restaurant at 2643 N. Campbell Ave.
“We are doing our best to shut Campbell down,” Bennett joked Friday afternoon. “We are going to be giving away free pizzas to anyone willing to stand in line.”
He’s thinking 1,400 people will take him up on the offer.
“This is a crazy way to open I am so looking forward to it,” said Bennett, who also owns Eclectic Cafe on East Tanque Verde Road. “I think this is a great way for the neighborhood to know what we do.”
This is the first of what Bennett anticipates will be four Pionic Pizza restaurants in Tucson. Bennett said he already has identified two other locations and would like to get them up and running as fast as possible.
Pionic, which occupies the 3,000-square-foot building that used to house Sparkle Cleaners, follows the new fast-food pizza model, where customers can pick their own crusts, sauces and toppings and get their 11-inch pizza in 90 seconds on average. The cost is $5 for cheese only and $7.45 for unlimited toppings.
Pionic is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Weekend hours might be extended once students come back to school at the University of Arizona, Bennett said.
Pionic’s opening comes two days after Pizza Studio, another fast-casual pizzeria, opened across from the UA in the new Next student housing complex.