Little Caesars opening in Richland

The scent of fried chicken has been driven out, replaced by the aroma of Italian spices, pepperoni and warm bread.

Sizzling Platter, a restaurant management company based in Salt Lake City, is opening its 106th Little Caesars pizzeria, the eighth in Eastern Washington.

The newest Little Caesars is at 234 Symons St., Richland, in a former KFC restaurant.

"We completely remodeled it from the walls on out," said Oscar Garcia, district manager for Sizzling Platter's Little Caesars franchises in Eastern Washington.

At 2,700 square feet, the pizzeria also is one of the largest the company owns and one of the few with a drive-through window.

The grand opening will be Wednesday, with entertainment by the Hanford High School Dance Team. Or drop by from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday for some free samples.

"We want the front (of the pizzeria) to be packed, the parking lot full and our workers running. It'll be a fun evening," said Jason Silva, general manager.

Silva has worked at Little Caesars pizzerias for four years in Spokane, Yakima and now Richland.

He's worked for Sizzling Platters for about a year and a half.

The new restaurant has about 35 employees.

Little Caesars offers only one size pizza, a 14-inch, which come in several standard combinations or build your own.

With at least five other restaurants serving pizza within a mile of the new Little Caesars, the company is banking on the chain's promise: Choose a cheese, pepperoni or featured pizza special and they will hand it to you in 30 seconds for only $5.

Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513;