On Friday, Feb. 26, the newly constructed Mountain Mike’s Pizza, 27967 Greenspot Road, suite 4, opened to delivery and carry out service after over four months of pandemic-related delays.
When fully opened, the restaurant will give Highlanders a new dine-in option that franchise owner Robby Basati, president of Robofran, hopes will become a community gathering place.
The 2,700-square-foot restaurant has indoor seating for 102 and outdoor patio seating for 32. It has an arcade and big screen TVs. Once coronavirus safety guidelines permit, the restaurant also plans to have a full salad bar.
“We’re not conforming to the trend of fast, grab-and-go dining many pizza businesses are transitioning to,” Basati said. “We want families to come in and eat, kids running around in the arcade and moms at the salad bar.”
Basati has been a Mountain Mike’s franchisee for 15 years and now owns 18 restaurants ⎯ nine in the Inland Empire and nine in Northern California. He helped bring the community–oriented pizza chain to the area by opening the Redlands store in 2019, and he hopes to repeat that success in Highland.
“We went into Redlands about a year-and-a-half ago, and that community really embraced us,” Basati said. “The way we were received in Redlands, we were hoping for something similar here. It’s one town over and a lot of the same people.”
Basati said Mountain Mike’s community focus is what drew him to and keeps him growing in the franchise.
“We’re new to the Inland Empire, but Mountain Mike’s stands for community. People in the Inland Empire will understand this slowly,” Basati said. “The backbone of this brand is community, and I relate to that. We’re a family that takes care of the people around it.”
The pizza chain has been around for 43 years and has grown steadily to 234 stores. It is famous for its signature crisp and curly pepperoni, which makes the simple pepperoni pizza the order of choice for Basati and many Mountain Mike’s customers.
Each restaurant is managed and staffed by members of the community it services, Basati emphasized.
“I own 18 restaurants, and we don’t have one way of doing things. We have 18 ways, each geared to its community,” Basati said, referring to each store's community involvement.
While opening the Highland restaurant during the COVID economic closure did not permit a massive grand opening with a line out the door like the Redlands store had, Basati said customers have been overjoyed when trying the new pizza option, and he expects his volume of business to pick up as residents learn the restaurant is open and as coronavirus restrictions are relaxed.
Mountain Mike’s offers delivery service through its own fleet as well as through third-party delivery services.
To order delivery, call (909) 862-1000. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.