Oregano's Pizza Bistro goes national with merger

Categories: Chow Bella

By Michele Laudig

Oregano's seems to draw a crowd at even the most unlikely times of day -- I don't think I've ever been to one without at least a little bit of a wait.

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So I'm not surprised to hear the news that Oregano's -- a home-grown Arizona restaurant chain with eight locations around the state and three more in the works -- is merging with Restaurant Acquisition Partners, Inc. Hey, who wouldn't want to expand upon this eatery's success?

Even the lame economy hasn't stopped Oregano's fans from gorging on pizzas, BolloPastas, and chocolate chip pizza cookies; same store sales were up 6% for May, compared to last year.

Once complete, the merger will provide an infusion of capital for development, and you'll start to see Oregano's crop up in more places. CEO Mark Russell, who founded the popular eatery, promises that current management, the quality of service, and -- most importantly -- the food will not change.

Hopefully they won't change their cheeky ad campaign, either. (The above photo was taken by my editor, who sent the photo of an Oregano's billboard to her pizza- and garlic-loving husband.)

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