A Pizza Buffet restaurant finds its place in Gastonia and plans to expand

Less than two months after Joe and Carie Scarborough opened Pizza + Buffet in Gastonia, the Mount Holly couple are already looking to expand.

“We officially opened on December 29 and have served about 4,000 pizzas so far,” Joe Scarborough said last week.

The couple will keep thinking and hope to bring new ideas to the pizza market.

“We’re hoping to do weekend breakfast pizzas like bacon, egg and cheese. We’re still toying with the idea,” he added.

The Scarboroughs opened Pizza + Buffet at 3746 E. Franklin Blvd., the site of the former Cici’s Pizza in Franklin Square after it closed in 2020 due to difficulties with the COVID-19 pandemic. Cici’s Pizza has since filed for bankruptcy.

Customers arrive at Pizza + Buffet on East Franklin Boulevard on Thursday afternoon, February 17, 2022.

The Scarboroughs also own Joe and Carie’s Creamery at 3908 E. Franklin Blvd in Gastonia.

They plan to open two more pizzerias, including one in Hickory.

“We want to expand to former CiCi restaurants,” said Joe Scarborough. “We welcome people from all over here, so we want to make sure everyone has a chance to try our pizzas.”

Pizza + Buffet remains open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Adrian Luna cooks pizza at Pizza + Buffet on East Franklin Boulevard on Thursday afternoon, February 17, 2022.

Both still maintain themselves outside the food sector. Joe Scarborough owns an electrical contractors business and Carie Scarborough works as a logistics manager for a Charlotte manufacturing company. They attribute finding balance in their busy lives to the 18 employees who work at the pizzeria.

The Scarboroughs say the secret to how their pizza tastes comes from the ingredients they use and never freeze the items. Patrons like Emma Smith of Bessemer City, who considers the macaroni and cheese pizza her favorite, say they love the place.

“This is my third time here. I come once a week,” she said. “Their food is always fresh. I always tell people that the food is like the old CiCi with 100% better quality.”

Beatriz Guerrero can be reached at 704-869-1828 or on Twitter @BeatrizGue_.

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