BUCKEYE LAKE- It’s doubtful Pizza Cottage patrons will notice much of a difference under its new ownership, said Pizza Cottage General Manager Kevin Gorham. “It’ll be business as usual,” he said.
Lancaster-based Lancaster Wings, Inc., owned by Lancaster entrepreneur Larry Tipton, announced Monday it purchased the Pizza Cottage restaurant group for an undisclosed amount from former owner Lloyd Helber, who purchased the Pizza Cottage from Gorham roughly 10 years prior.
“We are excited to be expanding our restaurant business with Pizza Cottage. The Pizza Cottage brand is well-respected and well-known throughout the region for outstanding pizza and service,” Tipton said.
“Our mission is to create a dining experience that is fun and affordable for everyone, while providing good jobs and giving back to the communities that keep our businesses strong. Pizza Cottage will help us build upon this mission in more local communities. We look forward to continuing to serve loyal Pizza Cottage customers the great pizza they love and taking the business to a new level of success in the future.”
There are six Pizza Cottage locations – Buckeye Lake, Circleville, Lancaster, Newark, Pickerington and Zanesville. These six locations will join Tipton’s 10 Buffalo Wild Wings franchise locations – Lancaster, Athens, Heath, Mount Vernon, Canal Winchester, New Philadelphia and Reynoldsburg, Ohio, as well as three locations in Arizona – Bullhead City, Flagstaff, and Prescott Valley.
Gorham said Tipton owns the business but Helber will continue to own the existing Pizza Cottage real estate. “Lloyd is our landlord,” Gorham said. He said Helber was simply ready to sell. “He’s 73, and he was ready not to have 300 employees.”
Gorham said Pizza Cottage employees can rest assured Tipton is not going to come in and “clean house,” or make huge changes, particularly with personnel. “Good employees are very hard to find,” Gorham said. “With 10 (Buffalo Wild Wings), Larry Tipton knows all about that. Our employees never saw Lloyd; they’ll never see Larry.”
Gorham said patrons will eventually see more variety in appetizers, but otherwise the Buckeye Lake Pizza Cottage will continue to operate as it has.
Lancaster Wings Inc. spokesperson Angela Krile said Pizza Cottage’s purchase price was not disclosed. “We have not made any plans yet for expansion,” she said. “(Tipton) is definitely planning on expanding the brand, but no locations or details have been determined.”