Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill is the newest popular brand to commit to rapidly growing Kuna, a city just now passing 20,000 residents and planning for 30,000.
Smoky Mountain plans to build a pizza shop next to the Merrell Towne Center at Meridian and Deer Flat Roads. The shopping center and neighboring lots already have Ridley’s Family Market and adjoining Ace Hardware, Idaho Central Credit Union, Bi-Mart, Tractor Supply and Dollar Tree with eventual plans for a Reel Theatre movie complex.
“We love the family aspect of what we do,” Smoky Mountain President and owner Daniel Todd said. “When you look at the growth of Kuna, we look at locations where we can serve families for generations to come.”
Kuna has at least 24 housing developments built or underway. It’s seen as an affordable housing alternative for families priced out of Boise, Meridian or Eagle.
Todd closed March 28 on the purchase of 1.1 acre in front of and just north of the Tractor Supply store, with a Taco Bell planned next to Smoky Mountain. Construction has started and Todd plans to open the new Smoky Mountain in fall.
The architect is BRS Architects of Boise and the general contractor is Wright Brothers.
Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill opened its first store in Ketchum in 1992 with a second store following in Eagle in 1995. Smoky Mountain now has eight locations in Boise (State Street 1997, Parkcenter 1999), Meridian (2006), Nampa (2006), Eagle (1995 relocated 2012), Ketchum (1992), Mountain Home (1997) and Sandy, Utah (2003).
But Smoky Mountain has not opened a new restaurant since moving the Eagle store across the street in 2012. The rest are more than 10 years old.
“Our approach is very deliberate and patient,” Todd said. “We’re actively looking at many communities, but have not identified a project. We’re focused on one project at a time.”
The $900,000 Kuna Smoky Mountain will be 4,200 square feet, a similar size to the other stores. It will be the fourth Smoky Mountain built from the ground up along with Nampa, Meridian and Mountain Home, Todd said.
This story was updated throughout with more information at 5:00 pm on April 23.