Marco’s coming in October

Published 10:29 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Crew members are working to install the oven this week and finish the rest of the preparations before Suffolk’s first Marco’s Pizza location opens in mid-October, according to franchisee Kanak Patel. The new, 1,534-square-foot restaurant will open in the shopping center at 2051 Sun Harbour Blvd.

Patel and his team are bringing the country’s fastest growing pizza chain to Suffolk, which will be one of five stores built in Hampton Roads. Two of these locations are in Virginia Beach and the other two are in Norfolk and Chesapeake.

Patel said he was excited to start serving high-quality food and begin his journey in Suffolk.

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“My heart is over here, because I live and work in Suffolk,” he said, adding that it won’t be the end of his journey once he starts managing more stores in Hampton Roads.

Marco’s was founded in 1978 by Italian native Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco, who owned the first store just outside of Toledo in Oregon, Ohio. That first location has since grown to more than 900 different stores across 35 states and four countries, according to, with the goal of opening their 1,000th store next year.

The menu includes subs, salads, sides and desserts, and their handcrafted pizza made with fresh dough and signature tomato sauce.

“The sauce actually came from the founder and hasn’t changed in 40 years,” according to area representative Dave Black.

Marco’s carry-out and deliveries have been making a name for the restaurant chain, and expert rankings have rising as a result.

The pizza chain was ranked 25 in the 2018 Franchise 500 on Entrepreneur, and was the third fastest-growing U.S. chain on the 2017 Top 100 Report by Nation’s Restaurant News.

It was also dubbed “America’s Favorite Pizza Chain” by a 2017 survey conducted by Market Force, according to an article written by Steve Olenski for Forbes in May 2017.

“Pizza is a fun business to be in,” Black said, who has been in the industry for more than 40 years alongside area representative Dan Shefte.

The bustling Harbour View corridor — with even more retail and housing under construction — should make this Suffolk venture even more fun.

“This is an exciting spot and an exciting location with all the new things going on here,” Black said.

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