Azzip Pizza, an Evansville-based restaurant chain that picked up top honors for menu innovation at this year’s International Pizza Expo, plans to open a location in the new College Park Crossing retail center near the Pyramids office complex in Indianapolis.
The shop will join Azzip’s roster of 10 fast-casual restaurants in Indiana and Kentucky, including a local location that opened in 2020 near the intersection of Shelby Street and East Stop 11 Road.
Azzip, a name that’s the backward spelling of “pizza,” will be part of the College Park Crossing development at the former location of Caribbean Cove water park and hotel.
“We’ve been very interested in growing in Indianapolis,” said Brad Niemeier, Azzip’s founder and co-CEO.
He described the northwest-side intersection of Michigan Road and Interstate 465 as “such a busy area with a lot of people working and living there. That’s important for our business as we try to attract lunch and dinner traffic.”
Locations of Starbucks and Panera Bread are open in the retail center. Neimeier said Azzip is projected to open its 2,500-square-foot spot in August.
The Starbucks occupies a stand-alone building, flanked by multi-unit strips to the north and south.
Azzip will share the northern building with fellow tenants Cousins Subs, a Wisconsin-based sandwich chain; CityBird, a chicken tender chain operated by Cincinnati-based Thunderdome Restaurant Group; and sushi restaurant Sakanaya.
The southern building includes Panera. A VCA animal hospital location is planned in the building and one 2,730-square-foot spot is available to be leased.
Purdue University alum Niemeier opened the first Azzip, which sells personal pizzas in 11-inch and 8-inch sizes, in 2014.
In March, industry website Pizza Marketplace selected Azzip as winner of the menu innovation award. Azzip’s Pizza of the Month Club features varieties such as March Crabness and That’s My Jam (featuring bacon jam and Granny Smith apples).
“It was cool for a small brand here in Indiana to be nationally recognized,” Niemeier said.
KennMar developed College Park Crossing. Robyn Swihart, owner of Equivis retail real estate company, is the broker.