Thursday, July 24, 2014

For sale: A slice and the restaurant that made it

Owner would like to sell Januzzi’s in Wilkes-Barre theater complex

March 07. 2014 11:44PM
By Andrew M. Seder

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WILKES-BARRE — When the RC Wilkes-Barre Movies 14 theater opened on East Northampton Street in 2006, it was meant to spur development in the Northampton and South Main streets vicinity.

Among the businesses it attracted was Januzzi’s, a locally owned pizza restaurant chain, which in 2007 closed its existing parlor at Academy Street and Carey Avenue and moved into a new storefront adjacent to the theater complex.

Now seven years later, James Januzzi has put the downtown eatery up for sale with the hopes of raising enough money to pay for the Academy Street building he’s had on the market since 2007 that has yet to sell.

The 2,950-square-foot space on the first-floor includes all the equipment, a five-year-lease plus an option for five more with a $3,750 per month rent that includes taxes and utilities, and eight parking spaces.

And, Januzzi noted, the buyer of the turnkey operation would get the Januzzi’s name. He said no deal will be made unless the buyer of the business becomes a franchisee.

“The only way it’s for sale is as a franchise,” Januzzi said Friday as he was busy preparing for the first Friday of Lent. “If they’re just looking to run a pizza place, I will offer them the Academy Street location.”

The Academy Street location has been listed at $250,000 but Januzzi noted at this point he’ll probably settle for closer to $200,000.

Januzzi said business traffic at the downtown location is not an issue; the reason to list it for sale is to get revenue to help with the Academy Street expenses he’s incurring.

He said he has no set deadline to sell the East Northampton Street location and if it doesn’t sell, it will continue.

“We’re not closing the business,” Januzzi said.

Januzzi has other locations in the Back Mountain, Mountain Top, Plains Township, Nanticoke, Kingston and Wyoming. The establishments in Plains Township, Nanticoke and Kingston offer delivery only, no sit down service.

The listing is being handled by Ruth K. Smith at Century 21 Smith Hourigan Group in Shavertown.

Januzzi also noted that while the new owner would have to keep the Januzzi name, he or she would not pay a franchise fee but would have to order products from the Januzzi warehouse so the food is made from the same ingredients in each of the Januzzi’s.

The building the restaurant is located in is owned by Joe Amato. A call to Amato was not returned.

Amato purchased the complex, which houses the movie theater, several businesses including Januzzi’s, Froyo Mania and Letts Eat, and vacant retail space on South Main, East Northampton and South Washington streets, for about $5 million.

Before Amato purchased the complex, several businesses have closed over the years including Tilbury’s Knob, Quiznos, Bonvie’s Beefy King and Blue Chip Gourmet.

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