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New Family Pizza approved
Planning Commission okays larger eatery
Family Pizza drawings
These architectural renderings show what the new Family Pizza proposed for Whitmore Avenue will look like. The project will be constructed on the vacant parcel east of Health Services Agency.

Plans to build a new home for Family Pizza one block to the east on Whitmore Avenue were approved by the Ceres Planning Commission on Monday.

The item was originally scheduled to be considered at the Sept. 6 Ceres Planning Commission meeting but was cancelled due to a TID power failure.

Applicant Sukhi Mann, owner of the existing Family Pizza at 2921 Whitmore Avenue, had first approached the city in early 2020 about building a 11,900-square-foot pizza restaurant and bar on a vacant 1.16-acre site at 3113 E. Whitmore Avenue, just east of the Del Taco and medical office properties. The application was put on hold when the COVID pandemic struck that March.

Community Development Director Christopher Hoem said the project meets all development standards outlined in the Mitchell Road Corridor Specific Plan and noted that city staff supports the commercial project “as it will provide the local area residents with an improved restaurant option and the design of the project provides attractive building frontages that are readily visible from Whitmore Avenue.”

Approximately 6,465 square feet will be set aside for family dining, kids’ video games, arcade machines and play areas. The remaining 5,435 square feet will consist of a cocktail lounge (bar) with dining area and pool tables.

The proposed business hours for the family pizza portion will be from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, while the bar will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Sundays through Wednesdays. Mann anticipates 10 full-time employees operating seven days a week. The family pizza space is designed for up to 140 occupants and the bar is designed for up to 63 occupants. A movable partition wall between the spaces will be installed to allow for a flexible space. A small outdoor smoke area will be accessible from the bar at a fenced patio.

Family Pizza was started in 1969 by Doug Lane in the Richland Shopping Center. Mann, 74, quit his job at Procter & Gamble 33 years ago to take over the business. In November 2013 Mann moved the business to 2921 Whitmore Avenue. He grew the business and improved its reputation.