The CiCi's Pizza franchise in the Altoona area closed suddenly a week ago, with its manager saying that the local business had suffered during a weak economy.
CiCi's hasn't given up on Altoona or Indiana, the location of another franchise closed a week ago, an official from the Coppell, Texas-based company said.
"While our franchise partner made the decision to close its Altoona and Indiana locations this past weekend, we hope to bring CiCi's Pizza famous quality, value and variety back to both communities in the future," Senior Vice President of Restaurant Operations Kyle Smith said.
A CiCi's regional manager closed down the pizza buffet in Plank Road Commons Shopping Center at about 8 p.m. April 20.
The local manager, Elliot Hall, and his employees worked throughout the night to clean and prepare the restaurant to shut its doors. Hall suggested the weak economy was the reason CiCi's went out of business.
The CiCi's franchises in Altoona and Indiana were owned by the Kolander Group, a group of investors from Allen, Texas.
A Kolander spokeswoman seemed to back up what the local manager was saying when speaking to the Mirror earlier this week. She said that CiCi's in the Altoona and Indiana areas have been "struggling for many years."
CiCi's restaurants offer a buffet that includes a variety of pizzas as well as salads, soups and desserts for $5 to $6.
Pennsylvania customers seem to like the "Mom and Pop" pizza shops as opposed to a buffet, the Kolander spokeswoman said.
"We would have loved to have kept them [CiCi's] open. It's sad and unfortunate. ... We hate to see people lose their jobs. It's a sad day for us," according to a Kolander statement.
CiCi's was founded in Plano, Texas, 17 years ago and has more than 500 locations nationwide.
Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.