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Buffalo Wild Wings owners rev up portfolio with new pizza partnership

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Buffalo Wild Wings is, well, spreading its wings in the food business.

The Pioneer Press says the Golden Valley-based company is opening Wednesday PizzaRev, a create-your-own-pizza place. The first location is at the Knollwood Mall in Hopkins.

Executive Vice President of Global Marketing and Brand Development Kathy Benning says Buffalo Wild Wings partnered with the California-based pizza franchise in an effort to achieve their "next vision of 3,000 restaurants in our portfolio of brands."

According to the Pioneer Press, PizzaRev was started in California by two entrepreneurs and eventually expanded the business to a chain of nine locations in Los Angeles. News of the chain caught the attention of Buffalo Wild Wings, which was looking for partners.

The concept of PizzaRev is that the pizzas are custom made, fresh, right in front of the customer – and the food is then ready in about three minutes. The company says in a press release that it will offer "11 artisanal-quality pizzas loaded with 30-plus fresh, premium ingredients of their choosing."

The company says there will be a distinct difference between the PizzaRev and Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants. Unlike the latter, PizzaRev is not linked to sports in anyway and does not have any TV screens in-house. Also, the space for the pizza place is about half the space of the Buffalo Wild Wings franchises.

The Pioneer Press says PizzaRev founders Irv Zuckerman and Rodney Eckerman – two longtime entertainment industry executives – will remain majority owners of the chain and collect franchise fees, while Buffalo Wild Wings is a minority investment partner that will supply counsel and expertise.

The paper says PizzaRev is also a franchisee, and if the concept is successful, Buffalo Wild Wings aims to become the majority owner, Benning said.

A second PizzaRev is set to open in Edina later this year.

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