Tonawanda News

Local News

January 19, 2012

Pizza Junction sale coming

— — It didn’t take long for Pizza Junction to get back on the radar in North Tonawanda.

Just over two weeks after closing its doors on Jan. 1 following nearly 40 years in business, co-owner Sherry Fleckenstein announced that two North Carolina residents — one with local ties — will be purchasing the restaurant and the building it’s housed in on Erie Avenue.

She said the business partners, whose names she didn’t want to reveal until the sale is finalized, plan on having the restaurant up and running within 30 to 45 days.

One of the gentleman is a North Tonawanda native who was raised just down the road in an old farm house, Fleckenstein said, and called to inquire about the restaurant’s recipes after having a conversation about the closure with a relative who still lives locally.

“He grew up on Erie Avenue and left here in the late-80s,” she said. “He called primarily to get the recipes. He said you know what, ‘if it’s for sale I’m interested in buying in it.’ Since then, we’ve had non-stop communication. They’ll be opening it as soon as possible.”

The prospective buyers will be in town next week to submit a down payment and finalize some of the details. Fleckenstein’s husband, Tom, and son, Ryan, will both be assisting with the transition process, including handing over recipes and preparation and business techniques that have been in play for decades.

Ryan Fleckenstein said he will remain on for an indeterminate amount of time to school the future proprietors and would not rule out the possibility of an ownership stake.

“I definitely felt some remorse when the restaurant closed down,” he said. “Now to know that I have the opportunity to at least spend the next few months with it, it’s definitely something that made me extremely happy.”

Many of the same employees will likely return, Ryan added, including a kitchen manager who almost purchased the establishment herself before the deal fell apart just days before the New Year.

Sherry said she’s been inundated with calls during the last few weeks from individuals and businesses interested in purchasing the well-known restaurant.

 “It’s my husband’s legacy and that’s important to me,” she said. “I wanted it to be with someone who would carry it out just as my husband had. It all happened rather quickly and these guys are very excited. They’ll run it just as Pizza Junction has always been run. The same recipes, the same food and there’s a few items they might be adding. I feel really good about it.” 

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