DC-Based &pizza Chain Receives $25 Million in Funding, Expands to NYC

&Pizza's arugula-strewn Backyard Garden pie. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Washington has become a hotbed for fast-casual chains, with homegrown brands like Sweetgreen and Cava Grill finding huge success; both the salad shop and Mediterranean eatery received multi-million dollar investments last year, and expanded to the West Coast (among other locations).

Now the DC-based &pizza chain is revving up for growth along the East Coast  after receiving $25 million in funding, led by Avalt. The Boston investment firm has backed major restaurant chains such as Outback Steakhouse and Dunkin’ Donuts.

The first &pizza location opened on H Street, Northeast in 2012, offering customizable, oblong-shaped pizzas with unlimited toppings. CEO Michael Lastoria has since expanded with 16 shops in the greater Washington area, with more on the way; other locations include Philadelphia and Baltimore.

The investment boost coincides with &pizza’s first NYC eatery, which will debut in the NoMad neighborhood next year. Like with other recent openings, the first Manhattan customers may be able to get a year’s-worth of free pizza in return for having the brand’s ampersand logo tattooed on a body part of their choice—an offer 25 guests have already received, according to the company.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.