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This Fast-Growing Upscale Pizza Chain Plans to Open 100 New Locations

And it's already the official pizza of an NFL team.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

For decades, New York and Chicago have been considered the pizza meccas of America. Now, California may be gaining steam as another strong contender.

According to the brand's origin story, Mountain Mike's Pizza first launched in 1978 and has grown to 250 locations throughout its home state of California and other states. Now, Mountain Mike's is opening locations in Arizona, Utah, and Oregon, according to National Restaurant News.

The chain has franchising agreements in place for 100 new locations, with 25 of those set to open by the end of this year.

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The figure leading the charge on Mountain Mike's expansion is Chris Britt, an investor who reportedly first ate at Mountain Mike's very first restaurant as a Stanford student in the 1980s. Almost 40 years later, the pizza slice he had there still stayed on his mind. In 2017, Britt joined Mountain Mike's as a co-owner and co-CEO. Britt told NRN that the brand's success over the years is "attributable to the product, and our franchisees."

Mountain Mike's Pizza offers classic pizza-and-wings fare with an outdoors-themed menu, starring items like the Everest (a meat and veggie-loaded pie), Pike's Peak, which sounds clearly created for the meat lover, and Mt. Veggiemore, with a blend of six vegetables (apparently a dream for artichoke lovers).

In addition to Mountain Mike's current expansion beyond the West Coast, NFL fans may hear more from them this season. NRN reports that the chain recently inked a deal to be the official pizza of the San Francisco 49ers.

Mountain Mike's isn't the only California pizza chain that's suddenly popping up all over the place. A popular, oven-fired pizza brand also recently announced a major growth strategy.

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at <em>Eat This, Not That!</em>, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more