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MOD Pizza coming to Highland
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MOD Pizza coming to Highland

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MOD Pizza coming to Highland

MOD Pizza plans to open in the Highland Grove shopping center in Highland.

MOD Pizza, a Seattle-based chain that offers "superfast custom artisan style pizzas," plans to open its first Northwest Indiana location.

The fast-casual pizza restaurant, which has 200 locations nationwide, is building a restaurant in a strip mall at 10441B Indianapolis Boulevard in the Highland Grove Shopping Center. MOD Pizza, which started in downtown Seattle in 2008, has a new eatery under construction between a Qdoba Mexican restaurant and a Potbelly Sandwich Works at the outdoor mall at Indianapolis Boulevard and Main Street.

The Highland restaurant could end up being MOD's first in Indiana. The chain is also planning an Evansville location.

MOD Pizza Marketing manager Charlotte Wayte said the restaurant will hire 25 to 30 employees and open in mid-July. It's part of an expansion for MOD Pizza in the Chicagoland market that includes new pizzerias in Hinsdale, Waukegan, Roscoe Village and Evergreen Park.

MOD stands for Made on Demand because the restaurant lets people choose from 30 different ingredients, including pesto, gorgonzola, artichokes, arugula, cilantro, spinach, spicy italian sausage, fig balsamic glaze and "sri-rancha." The pizzas are then baked in 800-degree stone ovens in about three minutes. Customers can also order combinations like the Calexico with mozzarella, gorgonzola, chicken, jalapenos, hot buffalo sauce, and red sauce, and the Caspian with mozzarella, gorgonzola, bbq chicken, barbecue sauce, and sliced red onions.

Trade publications have dubbed the concept "the Chipotle of Pizza," and it's similar to other fast casual pizzerias that have sprung up in Chicago in recent years, like Blaze Pizza and Pie Five Pizza. MOD has already opened multiple locations in suburban Chicagoland, including Bloomingdale, Deerfield, Skokie, Glenview, Naperville, and Orland Park.

The chain also has gluten-free crusts that are hand-pressed daily, salads, hand spun milkshakes, and craft beer at most locations. The company touts that it offers pay that's above the industry average and prioritizes hiring people with special needs.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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