Saturday, December 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Pizza Pucks enjoys triumphant return to Vacaville

7 pizza puck 1

Eric Frakes holds some Pizza Pucks, Friday, at Pizza Pucks in Vacaville. After closing for more than six years, Pizza Pucks has reopened. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

By
From page B7 | September 08, 2013 |

VACAVILLE — After a nearly seven-year hiatus, Pizza Pucks made its return to Vacaville in July and things are going swimmingly, says owner Eric Frakes.

After a soft opening – the “Open” sign remained off – on July 4, Frakes said the new location on the corner of Dobbins Street and East Monte Vista Avenue was packed within days.

That, Frakes said, was a clear sign that the round, cinnamon roll-inspired pizza treats were sorely missed. But he still had reservations.

“The only thing was that it was a little scary in the beginning. We got a whole new staff and nobody knew what they were doing, so we literally unlocked the doors, but didn’t turn on the ‘Open’ sign,” Frakes said. “We anticipated 30, 40, maybe 50 customers the first day and maybe the second day.”

Our first day, because of social networking, Pizza Pucks served more than 200 customers, he said. The next day, the eatery saw more than 500 customers. That led to some unhappy customers because of long waits, Frakes said, and a lot of damage control.

“We definitely weren’t expecting any of this,” he said.

One new feature that Frakes said has been a hit is the drive-thru window, which allows people to phone in their orders and pick up their food without leaving their cars.

The Pizza Puck itself goes back to the days when Frakes had a restaurant in downtown Vacaville called Pepperoni’s. At an after-hours meeting, one employee brought cinnamon rolls. When the treats ran out, Frakes wanted more, so he baked up a batch in the restaurant kitchen.

“They came out just the way they were supposed to look,” he said. “But they tasted horrible. Our dough had basil, oregano and other stuff in it.”

So he took the makings of a pizza, rolled it up and baked it like a cinnamon roll and the Pizza Puck was born.

“It completely changes the flavor of pizza,” Frakes said. “It’s something about the way it’s done.”

The circular pizza treats, similar in size to a hockey puck, took off in popularity – spawning eight Pizza Pucks restaurants in Vacaville, Fairfield and Vallejo.

Things turned south in late 2006 and early 2007 when a massive franchising deal fell through after the main partner had a heart attack, leaving the company in dire financial straits, Frakes said. When sales started to dip, “We just started closing stores,” he said.

Six years later, Frakes said he saw that demand remained strong.

“One of the big reasons we actually restarted this is these shirts,” he said, pointing to a company shirt. “I’ve got a closet full of old Pizza Pucks shirts just because over the years I have them. And whenever I put one of these silly things on, I go to the hardware store, I go to the grocery store, anything, I get people, ‘Where is it?’ ‘When’s it opening?’ ‘Where’d it go?’ ‘I haven’t seen one in a long time.’ ”

That got the wheels turning.

“I literally had a couple of times where I had groups of people coming around me, and I’m finally like, ‘You know what? I need to re-address the possibility of maybe opening these back up again,’ ” Frakes said. “And that’s kind of the reason we did Vacaville.”

The popularity of Pizza Pucks was still there after several years.

“If we were a completely new startup, I probably would have done Sacramento or the Bay Area, something with a little higher traffic,” he said. “But we already have a very loyal customer base in this town, so it seemed like a place to start.”

With 30-plus employees and the restaurant still under construction, Frakes said he still has plans for expansion, but so far the initial store is proving a success.

Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or mcorpos@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Oscar DanzySeptember 09, 2013 - 6:44 am

    Ask him if the original investors shares are still valid..

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FrakesvictimFebruary 01, 2014 - 1:00 pm

    They were never valid when they were first issued. Why do you really think someone disappears for 7 years?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Creche collection grows in size, popularity

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Handmade Christmas display is man’s labor of love

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
 
Company competition a big win for charity

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Meeting a great role model at any age

By Murray Bass | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

Fairfield police log: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Weather for Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

 
.

US / World

Island park in San Francisco Bay closed for weekend

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Wetter than usual start to new year in California predicted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Hospital to pay $2.2M to settle false claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Napolitano named as UC public policy professor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Man shocked 20 times during jail booking sues

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

Notorious California graffiti suspect arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Animal rights activists take California rodeo to court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California’s bullet train settles 1 of 7 lawsuits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Tuskegee Airman Lowell Steward dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Bush officials gave CIA wide latitude

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Theater shooter’s parents plead for his life

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Driver pleads not guilty in pedestrian deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
5 ways to make your email safer in case of a hack attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Celebrities react to latest Sony hack developments

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Sony on shelving ‘The Interview': ‘We had no choice’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

AP Interview: Coelho says Sony hack threatens all

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Jury rules for Indiana woman in firing over IVF

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Bergdahl investigation wraps up; top leaders get briefings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Texas eatery worker gets mink coat from customer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Sugarland, promoter settle with state fair victims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NY police officer suspended after videotaped punch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Prepackaged caramel apples linked to 4 deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Supreme Court won’t stop gay marriages in Florida

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Staples: Customer data exposed in security breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Lava could reach Hawaii shopping center in 8 days

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Israel carries out airstrike on Hamas site in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Pakistan executes militants and bombards tribal areas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Franciscan religious order in ‘grave’ financial crisis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

.

Opinion

Yes, Virginia, the Santa wish list has gone digital

By Petula Dvorak | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
If you want to help the poor, fix the safety net

By Jim Tankersley | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Dec. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Pampered pets that don duds move to the mainstream

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B11

Children from wife’s first marriage put father’s ashes in coffin

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B11

 
.

Entertainment

More than 4 million people watched 1st dog telethon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kim Jong Un game spoof ‘Glorious Leader!’ moving forward

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Marathon bombing survivor in ‘Yes to Dress’ finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kid Rock to perform pre-race concert at Daytona 500

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Actor Stephen Collins denies he’s a pedophile in interview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

Dodge, Vaca grad Mason lead Southern Oregon to NAIA title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders haven’t needed much from Janikowski

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
AP sources: Peavy agrees on $24M, 2-year deal with Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

FIFA will not reopen 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Howe’s family reports rapid improvement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

2 Armstrong associates settle lawsuit with Landis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rays, Padres, Nats complete 11-player trade involving Myers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vanden girls open Nike TOC with win on Arizona

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Things to know about Friday’s baseball news

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rookie receivers making their mark in NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former boxing champ Ernie Terrell dies at 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Gold medalist Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, avoids jail time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dodgers end Yanks’ payroll streak, owe most tax

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

CIF football bowl games headed to Sacramento

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

 
Cal men beat Eastern Washington 78-67 for seventh straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

This date in sports history for Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

California unemployment rate dips to 7.2 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Chrysler gives in to gov’t, expands air bag recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

T-Mobile paying at least $90M for unwanted services

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
EPA sets first national standard for coal waste

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Sales for holiday shopping season comes down to the wire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Judy Zamora Rogers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Home Seller 12/20/14

Real estate transactions for Dec. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Ask a Designer: decorating with Christmas trees

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2