Monday, February 10, 2020

Rizo's Pizza closing; MOD Pizza coming in April

Rizo's Pizza in Ammon will be closing Feb. 22.
By Rhett Nelson
Reprinted from East Idaho News

After nearly four years, Rizo’s Pizza in Ammon is closing its doors. Seattle-based MOD Pizza recently bought the restaurant and will be moving in early April. Rizo’s last day of operation will be Saturday, Feb. 22.

Rizo's Owner Jamie Rhoda told EastIdahoNews.com he has decided to pursue other interests that make sense for his family at this time. “Many of you know the trials our family has been going through over the past year and 10 months. We can’t thank the community enough for supporting us over the years,” Rhoda says.

The interior of MOD Pizza in downtown Boise
Rhoda’s son, Truette, was killed in a motorcycle accident during a trip to Utah in April 2018. The events of that day still weigh heavily on Rhoda’s mind, but he says he and his family are “hanging in there.” Rhoda did not say what he’s planning to do next, but he is looking forward to turning a page and beginning a new chapter in life. And even though the business is closing, he says he’s not going anywhere. “We will continue to be part of this amazing community in other ventures and look forward to seeing all of our friends and customers that we’ve had the privilege to serve at Rizo’s,” he said.

Meanwhile, MOD Pizza is eager to open its second eastern Idaho location. The company opened its store in Pocatello in early 2019, and also has locations in Twin Falls and the Boise area.

Renovations will begin soon after Rizo’s last day of business. The remodel will include the installation of a new oven along with several additional updates.

“Rizo’s has created a wonderful gathering place for the community of Ammon, and we’re honored to be able to continue this legacy,” MOD Pizza Real Estate Director Greta Pass said in a news release.

Someone with connections to MOD Pizza approached Rhoda shortly after he made the decision to close. After learning about their business model, he says it just seemed like a good fit. “This worked out very beneficially for both of us,” Rhoda said. “We’re very happy with it, and so are they. It was a great fit.”

MOD Pizza's menu offers a variety of artisan-style pizzas made on-demand, using freshly-pressed dough and signature sauces. Customers create their own pizzas and salads, using any combination of more than 30 toppings. The menu is rounded out with the signature MOD “No Name Cake,” hand-spun milkshakes, house-made lemonades and iced teas, and beer and wine.

Scott and Ally Svenson founded MOD Pizza in Seattle 12 years ago after searching for quick, affordable and healthy dining options for their busy family. Today, there are more than 470 locations nationwide.

“Their pizza is great. They embrace their local communities and make sure their employees are the No. 1 priority,” Rhoda said. All 15 of Rizo’s employees will be able to apply for employment with MOD.

“It has been a pleasure to work with the Rhoda family during this transition, and their warm spirit will certainly live on at MOD,” Pass said.

In the final days of business, Rhoda wants to say thank you to all his customers. From now until Feb. 22, anyone who walks in and says the code word “True Blue” in honor of Truette will get a large pizza for $6.99 or a personal pizza for $3.99.

Rizo’s Pizza is open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

When it opens, MOD Pizza's hours will be 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.