Flying Pie Pizzaria will open a third restaurant early next year. The new Flying Pie will be in Meridian on South Main Street at South Meridian Road, in the former home of Mulligan's bar and restaurant.
The company's owner Florian Penalva, who took over Flying Pie last year with the goal of expanding it, hopes to open the new restaurant by Valentine's Day of 2013. If all goes well, his five-year plan is to add another location possibly near Boise State University where Flying Pie got its start and expand outside of Idaho.
The plans all "depend on how well the Meridian store is received," he said. "Out of state is kind of a dream, and we really want to do it right."
Flying Pie surveyed about 34,500 customers in its restaurants and on Facebook this year, he said, asking where they wanted the next restaurant to be located. The company plotted the submissions on a map and looked for hot spots. With Meridian and Nampa garnering a large share of the votes, Penalva chose a Meridian location that is easily accessible from Nampa via Interstate 84.
The new restaurant will employ some of Flying Pie's current staff, some of whom have been splitting their time between the restaurants on Fairview Avenue and State Street. Penalva said he'll probably hire another 10 to 20 people.
"I think the challenge for us is going to be to provide the same experience" as in Flying Pie's other restaurants. "We're not interested in the cookie cutter [and want] personality, with faces you recognize when you go to Fairview or State Street."