Business news from the Fredericksburg region.

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Pizza chain purchases a slice of city’s Caroline Street

Benny’s, a Virginia-based pizza chain, has purchased the former Old Town Grill & Cafe building at 722 Caroline St. in downtown Fredericksburg and plans to open a restaurant there by early fall.

The 1,339-square-foot space was purchased for $375,000 through Remax Legacy agent Larry Nelson from Byun Hae In and Soon Rye, who also own Mister Dee’s on Lafayette Boulevard. Old Town Grill & Cafe operated in the space for 10 years before closing in 2012.

The Fredericksburg Benny’s location, to be called Benny Vitale’s, will serve “quality New York-style pizza by the slice,” according to owner Zach Toth.

Benny Vitale’s will be the seventh location in the rapidly expanding chain. The Charlottesville location is slated to open next week and a Smith Mountain Lake Benny’s opened in June.

Toth and his business partner, Chris Brown, considered a location in Richmond’s Carytown area before deciding on downtown Fredericksburg.

“We really liked the feel of Fredericksburg,” Toth said. “There are open walkways and we like to focus on old downtown areas.”

Blacksburg’s Benny Marzano’s, the first of the restaurants, was opened three years ago by Toth and Brown. Other locations include a second Blacksburg restaurant, Harrisonburg, Radford and Roanoke.

Each of the restaurants has a different second name that reflects the character of the location.

The name “Vitale’s” comes from Riva San Vitale, a municipality in Switzerland where Toth and the soon-to-be manager of the Fredericksburg restaurant studied abroad together while in college at Virginia Tech.

Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976