A new sit-down pizza restaurant will be coming to Athens as soon as May, entering the former location of Ruby Tuesday on E. State Street, a spokesperson told The Athens Messenger.

Pizza Cottage, a central Ohio-based pizza restaurant, plans to open its doors for dine-in, carryout, and drive through service in Athens, Julie Theado, spokesperson for Lancaster Wings, said.

They will also offer delivery through Doordash and GrubHub, although the latter is not supported in Athens County.

Theado said the Athens community, students and permanent residents alike, were ready for Pizza Cottage.

“I just think it’s a family-friendly atmosphere that is going to fit in with the Athens community for both the students and the residents,” Theado said. “Wings subs and pizza, you can’t really go wrong.”

She said she knows students will be a large consumer group of pizza.

“Athens is pizza — pizza is a whole other food group there,” Theado said.

Pizza Cottage is a parlor that offers Columbus-style pizza (think thin crust and square-cut) as well as wings, subs, pastas, and calzones.

The restaurant has seven locations currently, in Powell, Buckeye Lake, Circleville, Lancaster, Newark, Pickerington, and Zanesville.

Athens will join another location in Grove City as stores opening up in old Ruby Tuesday locations. Ruby Tuesday closed nearly 200 restaurants last year and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to Columbus Business First.

Lancaster Wings is owned by Larry Tipton, who also manages Buffalo Wild Wings locations throughout central and southeast Ohio, including the location on Union Street in Athens.

Tipton acquired Pizza Cottage in 2017, but the business has been around since 1972. Theado said the recipe for the pizzas has not changed since opening.

She said she hopes Columbus-area students will be familiar with the Pizza Cottage brand and may remember the Buckeye Lake location, which she said enjoys popularity in central Ohio.

Theado also said Lancaster Wings is excited for the opportunity to bring part and full-time jobs to the Athens community. The location is currently looking to hire a general manager and shift-managers.

She said the business plans to hire part-time employees in April and hopefully have the doors open by May or early June.

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