The bad taste that Lockheed Martin left in Eagan in 2010 when they pulled out of town and laid off 1,000 workers is starting to fade away. And Punch Pizza has some tasty news to cleanse the palate.
The Neapolitan pizza joint will open its 10th location as part of a mix of retail, restaurants, and offices in the former Lockheed Martin site.
Inside, Punch promises a mix of familiar and unique design elements for those familiar with the other nine locations in the metro area. Each is built around a mosaic tiled wood-burning oven where the pizzas are baked, and the restaurants all feature Neapolitan artwork, wood floors, and Italian Carrara marble.
“Every Punch has a different color oven,” adds VP of Operations Jenny Nyquist, “but Eagan’s colors have yet to be chosen.”
Founded in 1996, the local chain has won warm reviews and a presidential shout-out as the company has expanded and raised its minimum wage. They remain focused on the metro, Nyquist adds, with the goal to open a new store each year. “Roseville and Edina are at the top of the list,” she adds, as they spread their take on traditional Italian pizza across the Twin Cities.
The extensive redevelopment project is just underway, making a timeline for the new restaurant hard to predict. Punch estimates an opening in the fall of 2016. In the meantime, southeastern suburbanites can enjoy local pizza from Red’s Savoy, Navigator, and Solos.