published on October 25, 2016 - 7:47 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
The Fresno company behind Me-N-Ed’s has launched a new franchise concept emphasizing fast-casual pizza and self-pour beer.


Milano Restaurants International, parent company of Blast & Brew, announced the franchise has already inked a 12-unit deal on the Central Coast.

Blast & Brew features artisanal Neapolitan-style pizzas with more than 40 locally-source ingredients, fast-baked in an 825-degree oven, as well as sandwiches, salads and appetizers.

In addition, a pre-paid program allows guests to select their own beer choices from more than 30 taps, similar to the recent Me-N-Ed’s location that debuted in Fresno recently.

 “People have always had control over their pizza, but Blast & Brew offers a 100 percent customer-crafted dining experience, from the meal to the beverage that accompanies it,” said John Ferdinandi, CEO of Milano Restaurants International. “Our team has been hand crafting pizzas for over 50 years, and has partnered with California-grown craft breweries since the 90s – creating a recipe for success at Blast & Brew.”

California-based franchise group Cristallo Ventures L.L.C. has signed a 12-unit agreement to develop Blast & Brew locations throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties over the next eight years. The group currently operates a franchised Blast & Brew in San Luis Obispo, which opened in March.

Blast & Brew is seeking franchise partners to develop stores in territories across the southwestern region of the U.S., including metropolitan areas such as Phoenix and Dallas, as well as heavily populated college towns. Blast & Brew locations require between 1,200 and 3,400 feet of retail space, with patio, dine-in and carry out opportunities. Franchise prospects should have restaurant or retail experience, and the total investment to become a Blast & Brew franchisee ranges from $700,000 to $950,000.

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