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Fuzio Universal Bistro units for sale

MODESTO Calif. Six corporate units of the casual-dining Fuzio Universal Bistro chain, a fusion noodle and pizza concept, are listed for sale by a national restaurant broker.

Officials for the Modesto, Calif.-based chain did not respond to questions about the sale by press time. No prices were listed for the units

National Restaurant Brokers, based in Atlanta, lists the six corporate units and notes that the chain has one franchised location. According to the listing, Fuzio is “struggling with rapid growth,” and the sellers are looking for an experienced franchisor or operator to take over the units.

Fuzio Universal Bistro is a concept that grew out of the Fuzio Universal Pasta concept created in 1996 by Peter Serantoni, an executive with the Chevys Fresh Mex chain, as an offshoot of that brand. The first Fuzio location opened in San Francisco’s Castro district. Both Fuzio and Chevys were acquired in 2005 by Real Mex Restaurants, parent to the Acapulco and El Torito casual dining chains.

In 2007, all of the then nine corporate Fuzio units were purchased by Allen Beebe, owner of CalMex Inc., a multi-concept franchisee that operated Fuzio and Chevys locations, among other brands. The following year, Beebe became the franchisor to the Fuzio brand, and opened the first Fuzio Universal Bistro in Sacramento with plans to grow the brand, according to the company’s website.

In September 2009, there were 10 Fuzio units in California and one in Nevada. Currently, however, the website lists six locations in California and one in Nevada.

Fuzio’s menu includes such dishes as the signature Firecracker Pork Fusilli with ginger-braised pork and pasta topped with habanero pesto and sour cream. The chain last year added “fire-grilled” pizzas and sandwiches. Prices for entrees range between $8.75 and $14.50.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].

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