Brixx Pizza in Carriage Center to close by Dec. 9

Brixx Pizza in Carriage Center to close by Dec. 9

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CHAMPAIGN — A pizza joint in the Carriage Center development preannounced its closing Wednesday to give customers a chance to use their gift cards there.

Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, 2043 S. Neil St., plans to close Dec. 9 or earlier.

"We're delaying the close till then out of concerns for our staff and finding new employment," franchise owner Thomas Scaggs said. "And also to give our customers time to use their gift cards."

The pizzeria could close sooner, if its roughly 25 to 30 employees find new jobs right away.

"We could end up with not enough staff and could end up closing some time before then," Scaggs said.

The Champaign location opened in November 2015, around the same time several other stores opened in the Carriage Center.

"We don't have the volume of customers that we needed to stay viable," Scaggs said.

He said the restaurant's concept of wood-fired, thin-crust pizza hasn't played well outside of North Carolina, where it was founded in 1998.

"This concept, which has been successful on the East Coast, just doesn't translate as well," Scaggs said. "In the last five years, 17 Brixx have opened outside North Carolina. Now more than half of those have already closed, and all the others are losing money."

He also said the location, across from the Harvest Market grocery store, isn't ideal.

"There's no big retail draw in that area of town, like on North Prospect," Scaggs said. "People don't go grocery shopping and eating at the same time. So that's an issue."

Despite that, Scaggs, who owns the building, said it could work well for another restaurant.

"I'll be looking for a new tenant. It's a great location, corner location on a lighted intersection," he said. "A different concept could definitely work there."

Brixx is the first store to close in the Carriage Center, which also includes Scotty's Brewhouse, Starbucks, Wendy's, Slim Chickens, AT&T, the Snooze mattress store, Moe's Southwest Grill, Pancheros Mexican Grill, Home2 Suites by Hilton, Harvest Market and Ace Hardware.

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commonfolk wrote on November 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Don't blame location when 50% of other stores are closing. You could blame the real reason ALL Brixx are having a problem. Poor pizza at a pretty high price. Both times that I went it was a very small pizza that lacked flavor yet the price was high. Pizza places have a lot of competition in this area. At least with Papa Del  prices you get the papa del's amount of food. Sorry but Dragon Fire has you beat and they are a food truck. 

I don't go to Harvest Market to grocery shop. I generally go there weekly to EAT. Their food is delicious and appropriately priced.

I'm excited to see what will go in this spot. 

catsrule wrote on November 15, 2017 at 3:11 pm

I enjoyed Brixx' pizza, sorry they couldn't be viable. I concur with the points made by the prior post, especially regarding the Dragon Fire truck which offers a much better quality pizza with even faster service. Dragon Fire also has a website providing a calendar with locations where their truck will be located.

cwakefld wrote on November 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm

I have no experience in this business so I can  not speak to viability. However, in this day, a company that stays open out of concern for their employees is unusual. Most close and employees find out when they show up to a sign on the door. I will likely eat at Brixx before they close, purely due to this display of decency


johnny wrote on November 16, 2017 at 12:11 am

Sad news.  I had good experiences the three or four times I went there.

I guess this means an end to their trivia night, too.