New Henrico restaurant combines pizza with Indian food

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — The closure of a Henrico County sports bar is opening the door for a pair of first-time restaurateurs to roll out a new-to-market pizza franchise.

Prashant and Preeti Pawar plan to open Chicago’s Pizza With A Twist in the space formerly occupied by Big Al’s Sports Bar & Grill at 3641 Cox Road, Unit F, near Innsbrook.

Big Al’s closed at the end of service Thursday after 11 years of business.

Al Coleman, a nearly 30-year Richmond sports radio personality, launched the establishment in October 2007.

Coleman, 63, said he will miss his customers but not the long restaurant hours, which he said took a toll coupled with his morning show Sportsphone with Big Al on Sports 106.1 FM.

“I’d start my day at 4:45 in the morning at the radio station and I wouldn’t get home until around 7 at night from the restaurant,” Coleman said. ‘It was exhausting work, and it was time for a change…11 years in the restaurant business is a lifetime.”

Coleman placed the 2,900-square-foot restaurant up for sale last fall and began discussions with the Pawars around October. The parties came to an agreement this month for the Pawars to lease the space and purchase the restaurant’s equipment.

Nathan Hughes with Richmond-based Sperity Real Estate Ventures brokered the transaction, terms of which were not disclosed.

Based in California, Chicago’s Pizza With A Twist takes Chicago-style deep-dish pizza and packs it with international flavors of Indian and Latin origins. Some of its signature pies include curry chicken, butter chicken and naan pizzas.

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