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<p>Inside Sauce Pizza &amp; Wine</p>

Fox Restaurant Concepts sells Sauce Pizza

RA Sushi cofounder plans to grow fast-casual brand

Fox Restaurant Concepts has sold its nine-unit, fast-casual Sauce Pizza & Wine brand to a company led by the cofounder of RA Sushi, a Fox spokeswoman said Monday.

Phoenix-based Fox Restaurant Concepts, whose 14 other concepts include the full-service True Food Kitchen and North Italia chains, said it sold the fast-casual brand to Sauce Holdings LLC, an investment group led by Phoenix restaurateur Scott Kilpatrick. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kilpatrick cofounded RA Sushi in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 1997, and sold it to Doral, Fla.-based Benihana Inc. in 2002. He remained vice president until 2013. RA Sushi now has 28 units.

Fox Restaurant Concepts will retain one Sauce unit at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, a spokeswoman said.

Sam Fox, founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts, said in a statement: “It’s difficult to let go of a concept that you’ve nurtured for more than a decade, but Sauce Pizza & Wine is in great hands.”

Kilpatrick, who will serve as chief executive of the new Sauce holding company, said, “Sauce Pizza & Wine is an exceptionally strong brand, and we see significant opportunity for growth.

“As we move forward, we are committed to making the quality of food and service our No. 1 priority.”

Fox opened the first Sauce Pizza & Wine in 2003. The brand has nine units in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz. A 10th non-airport unit is planned for Central Phoenix, the company said.

Sauce offers pizzas, pastas, salads and affordably priced wines in a fast-casual environment.

A Fox spokeswoman said the company remains intent on creating and growing concepts. Fox Restaurant Concepts said in a statement that “the sale of Sauce Pizza & Wine marks another step in FRC’s innovation plans and allows the team to continue to create and incubate exciting new concepts. It will also let the company focus on growing up-and-coming brands. …”

As of December, before the sale of Sauce, Fox Restaurant Concepts had 52 restaurants, including a number of multiunit brands: 10 True Food Kitchen restaurants, seven North Italia units, five Zinburger locations, four Blanco Tacos + Tequila units, four Culinary Dropout outlets, two Juby True juice bars and two Olive & Ivy upscale dining restaurants.

It had single units of The Arrogant Butcher, Flower Child, The Greene House, The Henry, Little Cleo’s, Modern Burger, The Rocket and Wildflower.

Fox Restaurant Concepts has restaurants in 15 states, the majority of which are in Arizona.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless


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