Crust Simply Italian to open third Valley location in Gilbert next year

Oct 9, 2021, 5:00 AM

PHOENIX — Italian restaurant Crust Simply Italian is set to open its third Valley location in Gilbert next year, part of a plan to have 10 Arizona locations in the next eight years.

The new location at Williams Field and Recker roads will open in the second quarter of 2022, according to a press release.

Founded in Scottsdale in 2007, the menu includes pizza, pasta, calzones and other classic Italian dishes in addition to various salads and lighter entrees.

A Chandler location includes a speakeasy-style cocktail bar known as The Ostrich, which will also be added to the new restaurant in Gilbert as well.

The bar offers classics like the Old Fashioned and Aviation along with other creative, nouveau drinks, according to the release.

Michael Merendino, a first-generation Italian-American from Long Island, New York, owns the two other locations and expects to see revenue of $8 million from the three restaurants within the first year, according to the release.

Merendino plans to open one location a year to reach the goal of 10 within the next eight years, according to the release.

He came up with the idea for the restaurant while working as a server in Scottsdale during the 2000s, previously growing up in his father’s pizzeria in New York.

Crust Simply Italian was among 12 restaurants expected to open at a $100 million mixed-use development in Gilbert known as Verde at Cooley Station.

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Crust Simply Italian to open third Valley location in Gilbert next year