One up, one down: Marco's Pizza closes as Pizza Inn prepares to open

As fans of Marco's Pizza mourn its closing, people anxious for a new pizza buffet await the opening of Pizza Inn later this month. Provided

People in Stillwater who have been pining for an all day pizza buffet should get their wish this month with the opening of a long-awaited Pizza Inn.

The new restaurant was announced in September of 2019 for the space at 717 N. Main that previously housed CiCi’s Pizza.

The project seemed to stall for a while but the interior is shaping up and signage has been installed on the building’s exterior. On Jan. 2, the restaurant’s Facebook page announced it would be selecting five people who like their Stillwater page to receive free buffets.

A member of a local community watch Facebook group recently shared a message they had received from the Pizza Inn Stillwater account that said the Stillwater location would be opening Jan. 28.

Franchisee Tony Nemer will be operating Stillwater’s Pizza Inn, along with five more in Arkansas City, Kansas; Enid; Blackwell; Perry and Tonkawa, according to a September release from Pizza Inn’s parent company RAVE.

Nemer was previously an operating partner in the Ponca City Pizza Inn. Nemer and his wife Sissi also own the Golden Chick restaurants in Stillwater and Ponca City.

According to the release, three of the Nemers’ Pizza Inn locations will be a new smaller prototype called the Pizza Inn Neighborhood Model that has a smaller footprint while still offering the all day buffet.

“The new Pizza Inn Neighborhood Model allowed me to commit to a larger-scale development deal with Pizza Inn,” Nemer said in the release. “With a price point under $500,000, it was a great investment for me and is more ideal for some of the smaller markets that we will be building in. Oklahomans have been demanding more of Pizza Inn, so I’m really excited to bring America’s Hometown Pizza Place to smaller towns where we can be an integral part of the community.”

As people celebrate the opening of Pizza Inn, fans of Marco’s Pizza are in mourning over its sudden closure. The restaurant opened in 2015 at 523 W. 6th Ave.

Handwritten signs on the locked doors say the restaurant has been closed for remodeling, but a location finder on the Marco’s corporate website no longer lists a Stillwater location.

A representative from the Marco’s franchise department confirmed that the restaurant has been closed but said she could not give any more information. She said the company could try to find another franchisee for the location.

Twitter: @mcharlesNP

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