New pizza restaurant moves into downtown Kent

Uncle Maddio’s Pizza banners put up in windows of old Pizza Fire location.

Brynne Mann Reporter

Pizza Fire is being replaced by a new restaurant called Uncle Maddio’s Pizza.

The new restaurant will offer fresh ingredients and made-to-order food for customers. 

“It’s a great location. You look out the front door to the side and see Kent State University. Then you turn to see the beautiful downtown,” said Robert Cuffaro, vice president of franchise development for Uncle Maddio’s Pizza. 

This location will offer slices of pizza, which they do not normally offer, to help keep up with the foot traffic from students and professionals working in the area. The menu also features gluten-free and cauliflower pizzas for customers with dietary restrictions. 

Pizzas, calzones, salads and more can be customized by the customers with the “Create Your Own” options, or customers can try the signature options. There are no freezers or microwaves, and everything is made fresh daily, said James Smith, Uncle Maddio’s CEO. 

“Our message is ‘Served with Love.’ That’s really where everything comes from,” said Carell Grass, vice president of brand development. “We want to make sure that when customers come into our store, we’re taking care of them by making the product, giving them the freshest ingredients and the best in-store experience.”

Customers can look forward to a modern interior design and a loyalty program they encourage everyone to take part in.

“The loyalty program is all phone number based, and it’s really great for folks who visit our stores to very quickly get a lot of rewards. Whether it’s a free slice of pizza, a free pizza, a free dessert or whatever the case may be,” Grass said. 

Cuffaro is working closely with the manager for this location to help with the opening. They hope to open in late March and are holding open interviews the week of March 8. The hours are going to be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. during the weekdays and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on the weekends. 

Uncle Maddio’s Pizza will be on the corner of S. Depeyster Street and Haymaker Parkway where Pizza Fire used to be located. 

The restaurant was looking to have a slow open, but the company has sensed the excitement surrounding the opening of this location, so they are prepared for anything. 

Community is a big part of the foundation of their brand, and they are looking forward to becoming a part of downtown Kent, Grass said. 

“Kent is the start of a great program for us with college campuses,” Smith said. “It became a part of our strategy where we will open up stores around the country, develop them and then work on selling franchises outside of that location.”

Brynne Mann covers the City of Kent. Contact her at [email protected].