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Pizza chain deepens Minnesota presence with seven new shops

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Pizza lovers will soon have more opportunities to indulge in a pie from the Toppers chain.

The Business Journal reported that the Whitewater, Wis.-based chain is cooking up a stronger presence in Minnesota with the addition of seven new pizzerias in the state. The new Minnesota outlets are part of a predicted national growth from 50 to 75 locations in 2014.

The first of the new pizzerias will open later this week in downtown Winona. The Winona Daily News expects the new outlet, which will remain open until 3 a.m., will appeal to late-night munchers in the college crowd.

A Toppers will open in Falcon Heights in January, and in February, another will open in St. Louis Park and a second Toppers location will fire up the oven in Rochester. In the spring, two locations will be added in the west metro, in Plymouth and Minnetonka. Next summer, a Stadium Village shop will open near the University of Minnesota.

A spokesman said Toppers also has contracts for a St. Paul location and a St. Cloud location, but no sites have been chosen yet.

Several other fast food or fast casual chains either expanded in Minnesota, or announced plans to do so in 2014. The Business Journal reported earlier this month that Punch Pizza will open its ninth restaurant in Maple Grove. Last month, the Minnesota-based My Burger chain announced it would add two metro locations in 2014 to the three it already operates, with five more coming after that. The chain hopes to branch out into the Midwest with 50 to 100 locations. Chik-fil-A also expanded its Minnesota presence, with two new outlets.

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