Name of business: Tandoori Pizza
Type of business: Restaurant
Location: 3181 Geer Rd., Turlock
Hours: Monday through Friday from11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Contact information: (209) 963-4560 or email@example.com
History of business:
Tandoori Pizza was founded in 2015 by Tejinder Singh, hoping to introduce pizza lovers to some of the most popular flavors that India has to offer. Since then, there have been seven locations opened across the Bay Area. In the coming days, an eighth Tandoori Pizza will open in Turlock at the town’s former Pizza Hut location at 3181 Geer Rd.
Paul Singh, the cousin of Tejinder Singh, has worked at and managed at some of the other Tandoori Pizzas in the past. Now, he is enthusiastically preparing to manage the Turlock location once the doors are opened to the public.
According to Singh, his family had been thinking about bringing a Tandoori Pizza to the Modesto Metropolitan Area. When Pizza Hut closed over 250 locations nationwide, he knew that he had to make the most out of the opportunity.
“When Turlock opened up and this location became available, it was just one of those opportunities you had to jump on,” Singh said. “Everything about this place I liked personally because it’s a roomy space, it’s nice, the population here in Turlock is friendly and nice. It’s a very big town but it still gives you that smalltown feel.”
Singh and his team officially moved into the space on Geer Road on Sept. 1, 2021. Since that time, they have been working around the clock to revamp the entire look and interior design. Inside, there are brand new tables, booths and chairs, new ceiling tile, wood accents on the lower halves of the walls, and a baby blue and white color scheme taking over the remaining space on the walls.
“Our main goal is to not have a customer walk in and know that this used to be a Pizza Hut or that it looks like a Pizza Hut and it’s just the name that’s changed,” Singh explained. “We want to change the vibe in here, bring a whole different type of vibe to this town. We want it to be uplifting with the modern furniture and the brighter colors… A lot of traditional pizza places tend to use the color red, so we wanted to step away and stand out from that and be different and unique.”
Aside from the design and décor, Tandoori Pizza is looking to stand out from other pizza spots with their unique menu. Singh explained that while they will still offer traditional pizzas, wings and other entrees and appetizers to customers, there will also be an abundance of menu items highlighting rich Indian flavors.
“We twist things up with the marinated chickens, the marinated achari gobhi, marinated paneer. We’re basically bringing the East Coast and West Coast together,” Singh said. “Pizza is universal and once you put marinated chicken and other marinated things on it, it just brings out the bold flavors. With traditional pizzas, you’re just used to the traditional red sauce, oregano and basil, and then you have all these other new spices in there and your tase buds are just going to go wild and you’ll be craving more eventually.”
Singh explained that, of the Indian style pizzas on the menu, there will be about five vegetarian and about eleven non-vegetarian pies, each with chicken marinated in different Indian spices.
He added that there is a similar balance when it comes to the appetizer menu. In terms of wings, they will have the traditional buffalo and barbecue wings while also offering tandoori and achari flavored wings. When it comes to bread, they will offer traditional garlic sticks with cheese while also offering tandoori and dhesi sticks with cheese, all served with sides of Indian dipping sauces.
Tandoori Pizza is expected to have the usual slate of fountain drinks and sodas, and although nothing is finalized yet, Singh has put in the paperwork in hopes of also serving alcoholic beverages.
“We have applied for our beer and liquor license. We really want to get in on the craft beer game and bring about 10 to 15 different types of beers in. We’ll still have the Coors Lights, the Modelos, but we want to focus on the craft beer and give people more options to enjoy,” he said.
Once Tandoori Pizza’s Turlock location opens in the next week or two, Singh then hopes that it can be successful enough to continue to branch out to cities in the Central Valley.
“Once we get this one going, then we can branch out to Modesto, Ceres, Livingston, Fresno and just go down the line on 99,” he said. “We are currently family owned, but one day we do hope to make it a franchise where it can be bought by an individual outside of the family and grow from there, similar to how bigger chains like Mountain Mikes and Round Table. They started off as small, family businesses too.”
Singh hopes to be able to have a grand opening on Friday, Sept. 30. Community members are encouraged to follow official Tandoori Pizza social media accounts for the latest updates.
Tandoori Pizza can be found on Facebook at @TandooriPizza and on Instagram at @TandooriPizzaCalifornia. To learn more about Tandoori Pizza and to scan their full menu of appetizers and entrees ahead of their opening, head to www.tandooripizza.com.