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UPDATE: Owner Speaks Out on Pizza Sola Closing in Cranberry

Jim Aiello says the independent operation couldn’t compete with the lower prices of chain shops in the area.

After just about two years, Pizza Sola is calling it quits in Cranberry.

Located in the Oak Tree Plaza on Route 19, the restaurant closed for good Saturday. A sign on the door says the business is for sale.

“It just wasn’t performing up to the standards of our other stores,” said Pizza Sola owner James R. Aiello, of Aiello Development Company, LLC in Pittsburgh.

The restaurant has three other locations, which remain open in Pittsburgh. The Cranberry restaurant was the first Pizza Sola located outside of the city, Aiello said. The other locations are in Oakland, South Side and East Liberty.

Aiello said the concept of buying pizza by the slice, which is popular at Pizza Sola’s walk able locations in Pittsburgh, never caught on in Cranberry, where residents were more likely to buy a whole pie.

Then there was the cost factor.

Aiello said the restaurant uses all homemade toppings and sauces. Although the pizza by the slice was comparable to other area pizza prices, the price for entire Pizza Sola pie was costly when matched up against pizza chains in the area, Aiello said.

“There are all those national guys,” he said. “We can’t compete.”

Aiello said he decided to open a Pizza Sola in Cranberry because of the restaurant’s location near the Turnpike exit on busy Route 19, which he assumed would attract commuters stopping by the store for slices. When that didn’t happen, Aiello said he began offering delivery services last May, but it already was too late.

The restaurant did not have the funds to market the delivery services properly, he said. 

“I thought we were trading walking pedestrians for cars,” he said. “I thought we would fit well in that region, but it didn’t work out that way.”

Aiello said he is hoping to attract a new restaurant owner to the Cranberry location to fill out the remainder of the lease. He added he is disappointed Pizza Sola closed in the area.  

“I’m working to replace someone in there as quickly as possible,” he said. “I wish we could have made a better run of it.”

Tell us, will you miss Pizza Sola? Are you disappointed the Cranberry restaurant closed? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Carolyn M. February 21, 2013 at 01:00 PM
That's a bummer. We really enjoyed their pizza!
LAURA CONRAD February 21, 2013 at 02:59 PM
One of the best pizza's in Cranberry!!! We will miss it! Not necessarily enough publicity and prices may have been a little ambitious. We still bought it, though, because it is soooo good!
Renee February 21, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Hmm, it was there two years???? I live in Seven Fields and have never heard of it, perhaps some better advertising would have helped.
michele lawver February 21, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Artisian cant be beat!
Justin Evans February 21, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Gee-ate pizza there oonce. I was not impressed :in fact my 1 employee said it was the worse pizza he ever had in his life. I agreed it was weak. I prefer to go to franks or the pizza house in ambridge--both blow pizza in the area away except for Aviva maybe. All the pizza in cranberry is not from chains. Roma. Champs. Climos. Domenicos aviva. New place. In valero gas station. Sorry. The price versus quality of pizza sola was not there...I predicted 2 years ago they would not last.
Christine Iwanski February 21, 2013 at 11:11 PM
How can I mss it when I never knew it was there?
Jesse February 22, 2013 at 01:43 AM
Surprised. They had the best white pizza. Stopped ordering after the second time my card was overcharged and it took a week for them to get it together. The last pizza I ordered came COLD, not warm, COLD. Manager apologized and said to call in next time for a complementary pizza. Called a week later, claimed they knew nothing of it even after calling the manager. Not sure where hes getting "all those national guys" ??? I don't know anyone who orders from the chains. Peppercini's and Climo's are my number 1s. Won't miss them. Wish it didn't mean another vacant store front though ...
Amy Pauletich February 26, 2013 at 06:02 PM
BEST pizza in cranberrry. .will be sadly missed.

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