Goodbye, Hungry Howie
Hello, Papa John
by Shelley Daily
Austin McCurdy worked his way through college as a delivery driver for Papa John's, and, after a stint as a high school math teacher, he decided to return to the pizza business. Now he owns five Papa John's franchises in the Chicago area and three in Ann Arbor--all of them acquired in the last five years. The latest opened in December in Boulevard Plaza. The space is a former Hungry Howie's but "we ripped it to the studs," says McCurdy, "and installed a new high-efficiency oven." McCurdy, who splits his residency between Ann Arbor and Indiana, says the new location is already doing "double the sales volume of what we projected." The father of three young children says the west side is a "family pizzeria market niche."
Papa John's, 2145 W. Stadium (Boulevard Plaza), 741-7272, Daily 10 a.m.-midnight. papajohns.com
[Originally published in February, 2014.]