Two Minnesota pizza restaurants sliced from food courts

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Two Minnesota Sbarro pizza restaurants did not make the cut in a major overhaul by the New York-based restaurant chain.

The Mankato Free Press reports that the Sbarro in the River Hills Mall Food Court in Mankato closed last week. A spokesman for the chain told BringMeTheNews that the Sbarro in the Apache Mall in Rochester is also closing. The spokesman added that Sbarro locations in St. Paul, Bloomington, St. Cloud, Roseville, Eden Prairie, Burnsville, Duluth will remain open.

Bloomberg reported that Sbarro, a fixture in many mall food courts, is closing 155 underperforming locations. Sbarro’s restaurants are concentrated in malls, where slowing traffic during the recession took a toll on food courts. The move will eliminate 1,400 jobs.

The restructuring is part of the broader plan by the chain's new management team, which is still trying to rebound after emerging from bankruptcy in 2011. At the same time that it is shuttering these outlets, Sbarro added 81 locations last year. It has more than 800 stores worldwide, 400 of them in the U.S.

Pizza lovers need not worry about getting their pie fix. The Business Journal reported that a California chain called Pieology Pizzeria plans to open its first Minnesota fast-casual restaurant later this year, with a location in St.Paul's Highland Park in development and deals in the works to open locations in Minneapolis and Mankato. And Patch reported that Red's Savoy Pizza opened a new 42-seat location in Edina this month. The new spot is the 12th location for the St. Paul-based chain.

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