January 18, 2017
9:00 am

Chivo's Pizza Slates Return to Business

Tony Pedraza says "It's been the longest 'week' of my life." On New Year's Eve of 2015 the owner and operator of Chivo's Pizza on Niles Avenue in Southtown St. Joseph was forced to shut down by a major leak in the roof of his leased pizzeria. He originally projected that the business would be shut down for "about a week." Since that time he has worked in an Indiana factory...sold cars for a living...tried his hand at selling insurance...and now he's finally ready to get back to business with the new Chivo's Pizza.

Unfortunately for a large contingent of Chivo's fans, Tony has had to go "the fastest route" he could find, taking over a turnkey operation just south of the state line in South Bend at what has been home to one of eleven Bruno's Pizza restaurants in that region. That means that most of Chivo's aficionados will have to travel roughly 20 to 30 minutes to get back in line. On the bright side, when Chivo's was in St. Joseph, they were exclusively a take-out restaurant, and the new Chivo's will seat up to 70 customers who elect to dine in, while take out will still be an option.

Pedraza signed the lease for a 2,000 square foot facility in Suite 103 at 4505 Ameritech Drive in South Bend, just off of the Cleveland Road exit on the St. Joseph Valley Parkway, more affectionately known as "the by-pass." 

Ever since Pedraza's roof issues surfaced he has been in litigation with his former landlord. Fans even launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover legal costs and potential relocation of Chivo's a year ago, but he just was not able to hang onto his hopes of relocating elsewhere in St. Joseph. He tells me that the takeover of the Bruno's Pizza space was "the cheapest option with the quickest transfer" that he could find. 

The new Chivo's will offer sit down, carryout and delivery options, and best of all is a virtual turnkey operation. He hopes to gain access the building immediately so that he can do a deep cleaning, put on some fresh paint, and get his crew ready to roll. He hopes to be in operation in very short order...perhaps by the end of the month. The new restaurant will be open six nights a week once its up and running, and will offer lunch service as well due to the "huge contingent of workers in that area."

Pedraza says that the Ameriplex Industrial Park and other parks at that interchange have added more than a million square feet of space and will erect nearly that much additional space in the coming year, "with a couple of thousand jobs" all close at hand.

Chivo's of South Bend will offer the same Chivo's recipe that made him famous in short order in St. Joe as well as some salads and bread sticks. Lunch offers will include pizza-by-the-slice, and he will apply for a liquor license to be able to sell beer and wine on premise as well. 

Sign makers are currently crafting the new Chivo's sign for the Ameritech Drive building, and as soon as his quick makeover is complete and health inspectors approve his operations, Chivo's will once again be back on the market in the region. His plans are to have 7 to 8 people on staff and hopes that fans will rediscover the magic when they are in the area, even as he cultivates a whole new range of Chivo's fans. 

Tony says, "I'm pretty excited about this new place. It has been a long 'week' since the unfortunate shutdown -- but sometimes the best things just take a little longer to get done." 

To find Chivo's head south on the U.S. 31 highway to the first interchange exit in Northern Indiana just over the state line and turn left at the top of the ramp and then left again on the first road, Ameritech Drive, after crossing over the highway. 
Filed Under :
Topics : Business_Finance
Location : Indiana
People : Tony Pedraza
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