Less than a month after Turlock's Lamppost Pizza closed under contentious circumstances, a new pizzeria is set to move in to the storefront.
A Rico's Pizza will open in the Turlock Cinema Center site, possibly as soon as next week with a soft opening on Veteran’s Day.
According to owner Jesus Aguilar, who also owns a Rico's Pizza on Hatch Road in Modesto, the big space will be perfect to accommodate large families and sports teams.
“I had the opportunity there, and I think it's a great location and it's big enough,” Aguilar said.
Rico's Pizza is famous for its big “Party Pizza,” which is 26 inches in diameter and feeds 12 adults. At a cost of just $31.99 for a pepperoni Party Pizza, Aguilar says the pizza presents a great value proposition.
“I'm pretty sure I have way lower prices than any other pizza place in Turlock,” Aguilar said.
And the quality is top-notch too, Aguilar said, with hand-tossed dough and fresh-cut produce prepared every day.
The new Rico's Pizza will look similar to Lamppost Pizza on the inside, Aguilar said, with the main difference being the new menu.
Turlock previously had a Rico's Pizza on Countryside Drive, in the Walmart shopping center. That location closed several years ago, and was not owned by Aguilar.
Turlock's Lamppost Pizza closed in early October, with owners blaming the neighboring Turlock Poker Room for the closure.
“If you ask me why we went out of business it is because ever since Turlock Poker Room moved in their clientele has scared away our customers. This is a family environment,” said Lamppost Pizza owner and franchisee Celia Brophy.
Brophy also said the Poker Room was supposed to pay rent for the Lamppost space from April to this November as part of a buyout deal that included more than $50,000 worth of rent. The Turlock Poker Room had planned to purchase the space to expand their operations, she said.
Turlock Poker Room representatives said that Brophy approached the Poker Room in search of a buyout, but that acceptable terms could not be reached.
Despite the poor relationship, the Turlock Poker Room sent six-figures worth of business to the old Lamppost Pizza They also note that, as Rico's is moving in, Brophy's claims that the Poker Room wanted the space for themselves are unfounded.
“We are happy that another tenant for the space once occupied by Lamppost Pizza has been promptly found,” said Phillip Rheinschild Jr., co-owner of the Turlock Poker Room. “We look forward to working with our new neighbors in a way that will be beneficial to both of our businesses and, of course, our customers!”
Aguilar says he's excited to work with the Turlock Poker Room, too. Aguilar has already met with the Turlock Poker Room's ownership to begin building a working relationship with the neighboring business.
“If I'm successful, they're successful as well,” Aguilar said.
Rico's is hiring employees for the new location now, Aguilar said. Those interested in a mix of full- and part-time positions may drop off applications at Mundo's Latin Grill, 699 N. Golden State Blvd.
Rico's Pizza will be located at 2321 W. Main St. Ste. B, in the Turlock Cinema Center.
Turlock's Lamppost Pizza Closes