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Pizza Patrón launches retail pizza line, founder debuts new concept

Pizza Patrón, the 100-unit Latin pizza brand, plans to introduce a line of frozen pizzas to be available in retail grocery outlets.

Separately, Antonio Swad, founder of the Dallas-based company, debuted a new 3,300-square-foot, casual-dining Latin eatery/lounge called Pira at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Pizza Patrón’s retail line will be available in some groceries beginning this month, the company said. Suggested prices for the 11-inch pizzas are $3.99 for cheese and $4.99 for the five other varieties: pepperoni, meat trio, Mexicana, Patrona and Hawaiana.

The pies initially will be sold in various grocery and convenience stores in Texas, but the company has plans to expand into other U.S. markets next year.
 
“The pizza restaurants will always be our core business,” said Andrew Gamm, brand director for Pizza Patrón. “But in order for our brand to be successful in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, we understand that we have to explore opportunities outside our retail stores to build brand awareness where our customers shop and live.”
 
Pizza Patrón joins a growing number of restaurant brands like Uno Chicago Grill, P.F. Chang’s, T.G.I. Friday’s, Burger King, and Romano’s Macaroni Grill in the push to tap into the retail marketplace with frozen and packaged products.

Guillermo Estrada, president of Pizza Patrón, added, “The frozen pizza business has been around for many years, but we think this extension of our brand will attract Hispanics who are not currently frozen pizza eaters to try this food category.”

Meanwhile, Swad said his latest venture, Pira, would provide “family-friendly Latin cuisine” during the day and then morph into “a chic and sophisticated ultra-lounge in the evening.” He noted the American Airlines Center location will have entrances both to the street and to the arena.
 
Pira, which translates from the Spanish as “intense heat” or “combustible material,” accommodates 375 guests, and the exterior portico features 49 feet of live flames in a special roofline trough.

Swad said Pira “offers authentic flavor profiles from all over Latin America, Chilean wines, Peruvian specialties, etc. …”

Drink and menu items include Mango Fire, a blend of mango puree, tequila, fresh lemon juice and serrano pepper, $11; Brazilian churrasco with chimichurri sauce, salsa criolla and beef tenderloin, $12; chile-rubbed chicken breast, $10; and garlic-cilantro-marinated shrimp, $14.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]nrn.com.

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