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Dining options in megamall's expansion will start with 'Italian street food'

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A restaurant chain that prides itself on serving street food will stake its Minnesota foothold inside the state's biggest shopping mall.

Piada Italian Street Food hopes its growing chain of fast-casual restaurants will become the Chipotle of Italian food, the Star Tribune reports.

Piada is the first tenant confirmed for the expansion at the Mall of America in Bloomington and expects to open in time for the holiday shopping season in November, the newspaper says.

Mall of America calls the food hall in its new addition "Culinary on North." The Business Journal reports mall officials have been targeting fast-casual establishments.

Piada expects the Bloomington location to be the first of several in Minnesota, with a Chanhassen restaurant planned for 2016.

The Columbus, Ohio-based chain has 22 restaurants and is growing quickly. Founder Chris Doody tells Columbus Business First Piada is eying locations on college campuses as it expands.

The chain's signature item is a wrap sandwich called the Piada, with pasta bowls and chopped salads also available. Piada says its founders were inspired by the food carts and corner markets of Rimini, Italy, when they opened their first restaurant in 2010.

Doody tells the restaurant industry magazine QSR the ordering process at Piada takes about 90 seconds and the average customer check is less than 10 dollars.

Mall of America is a sponsor of BringMeTheNews.

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