Well, you already know that Eureka will soon be getting an In-N-Out and a Chipotle and a KFC.

The flag of our new pizza overlords.


Now here comes Mountain Mike’s Pizza — “Home of the Legendary Crispy, Curly Pepperoni” — which will soon plant its flag in the Victoria Place Shopping Center, near the Big 5. And if a corporate press release released today and reprinted below is to be believed, Victoria Place will serve as the beachhead from which Mountain Mike wants to launch a full-on invasion of county.

A spokesperson tells us that Eureka’s new Mountain Mike’s is scheduled to open in the spring of next year, and that the company is actively looking for franchisees to take over the Victoria Place location, and also to develop new locations in other towns around Humboldt.

Map of Victoria Place shopping center, with the new Mountain Mike’s replacing Vampire Penguin. Source: Argonaut Investments.

Sadly, it looks as though Mountain Mike has displaced the much-beloved Vampire Penguin dessert shop, which closed its doors earlier this month. (Vampire Penguin is also a chain, though a much smaller one that serves a weird and unique product.)

In a Facebook post early this month, Vampire Penguin Eureka told fans that their landlord “was unwilling to renew their lease,” and that they’d have to shut their doors on Aug. 18. 

Those fans may take some solace in the news — repeated on the Vampire Penguin website — that the local Vampire Penguin people are looking for a new location elsewhere in the county, and hope to reopen.

Anyway: What is it with the recent influx of the chain restaurants? We went many years with new ones only coming in here and there, and rarely — a Church’s Chicken here, a Vampire Penguin there — and all of a sudden it’s like the floodgates have opened. We must be doing something right. Or wrong.

Press release from Mountain Mike’s Pizza:

Mountain Mike’s Pizza, LLC, a leading California-based family-style pizza chain, known for its legendary crispy, curly pepperonis and Mountain-sized pizzas, is focusing its expansion efforts in northern California’s Humboldt County with a Eureka, California location already in development. Data uncovered during an in-depth market analysis paired with the brand’s longstanding success throughout northern California makes Humboldt County a natural fit for a concept like Mountain Mike’s, which caters to families, large groups and celebratory occasions. There are currently 211 Mountain Mike’s Pizza locations in operation throughout California, Oregon, Nevada and Utah. 

“There’s high demand for family-friendly dining options like Mountain Mike’s in and around Eureka, and I’m excited to grow our presence in the region to mirror the success we’ve seen in the North Bay,” said Sonu Chandi, President of Chandi Hospitality, the area development group responsible for expansion in Humboldt County. “As both an area developer and franchisee, I can speak to the unique benefits of owning a Mountain Mike’s that you just won’t find at any other franchise chain, and I’m looking forward to welcoming new franchise partners to the family.

Chandi Hospitality is one of Mountain Mike’s Pizza’s five area development agents, each responsible in their designated territories to acquire new franchisees, identify development sites and ensure operations are running to brand standards. This model provides franchisees with added benefits in addition to the ongoing corporate support and resources offered by Mountain Mike’s Pizza’s dedicated leadership team.

“For over 40 years, Mountain Mike’s has been a popular choice for families and, with the help of dedicated franchisees, we’re excited to introduce our concept with confidence to pizza fans all over Humboldt county,” said Jim Metevier, President and COO of Mountain Mike’s Pizza, LLC. “Mountain Mike’s has developed a formula for success which enables our franchise partners to thrive and, with our unique area development strategy, Mountain Mike’s Pizza is poised to own a larger share of the nearly $45 billion pizza segment.” 

Mountain Mike’s Pizza is actively seeking franchise candidates to grow with the brand in Humboldt County and throughout areas of California’s North Coast. With impressive new unit growth and positive systemwide sales year after year, Mountain Mike’s Pizza presents a business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to expand their franchise portfolios and partner with an established brand on the rise.

Known for its welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere, community involvement, and legendary pizza made with high-quality ingredients, the signature Mountain Mike’s experience of enjoying “Pizza the Way it Oughta Be!®” will soon be available to pizza lovers throughout Humboldt county. The restaurants will feature Mountain Mike’s updated restaurant prototype complete with big screen TVs and a kids’ activity area with arcade games. These features make it the ideal spot for sports teams, family gatherings, group fundraising events and private parties alike. Mountain Mike’s offers mouth-watering pizzas, including the fan favorite pepperoni pizza covered from edge to edge with mini crispy, curly pepperonis, all made with high-quality ingredients like real whole milk mozzarella cheese and served on dough that’s prepared in-house daily. The menu also features both boneless and bone-in wings, garlic bread, mozzarella sticks, a robust all-you-can-eat salad bar, and a selection of beer and wine. Whether dine-in, carry-out or delivery, guests can always count on Mountain Mike’s to deliver on freshness, quality and value.