Domino’s Pizza to try ‘pizza theater’ prototype in Weirton, WV

Domino's Pizza is rolling out its new, “pizza theater” prototype in the Upper Ohio Valley with a 3,000-square-foot restaurant in Weirton, West Virginia.Customers will be able to watch their orders being made for eat-in or carry out. When they aren't watching the pizza makers, customers can catch up on sports scores or headlines on one of the restaurant's big screen TVs.Owner Morgan Lacefield said the eatery will feature seating for about 30. Eventually it also will incorporate a room for parties and meetings.“It will bring in a whole new group of customers,” Lacefield said. “I expect our lunch trade will be much bigger. We'll have a big-screen TV or two around the room. It will feel like it's a gathering place.”Lacefield said he expects to incorporate the pizza theater concept at the other 13 Domino's locations he owns.“It's going to be about a half-million dollar reinvestment in Weirton for us,” Lacefield said. “We think Weirton has a bright future.He expects the improved seating and parking to fuel sales.“I have high hopes for Weirton,” he said. “The last three or four years have all been positive.”The new Domino's will occupy a fire station that fell out of use years ago. Two years ago the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle purchased it and two other properties — abandoned football stadiums in Weirton and Newell, from the Hancock County Commission for $500,000 with the proviso that all three be used for job creation.BDC Executive Director Pat Ford said the BDC will make the first installment on that debt later this month, when they present commissioners with $115,000.“The economy has been up,” said Lacefield, who owns 14 Domino's stores in the area. “Also Domino's has improved its product and its marketing.”With developable properties in limited supply in the Northern Panhandle, Hancock County Commissioner Mike Swartzmiller said they wanted to make sure the three properties they'd acquired were used to build the economy and create jobs.By selling them to the BDC “we planted some seeds,” he said, “and the seeds are starting to grow. The first of many, we hope.”“It's not about making money with a financial investment,” Swartzmiller said. “It's about creating growth a