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Boston Pizza offers gourmet meals and casual dining

Boston Pizza Manager Jennifer Haffner shows off one of the custom-ordered gourmet pizzas available at the Smokey Point restaurant. -
Boston Pizza Manager Jennifer Haffner shows off one of the custom-ordered gourmet pizzas available at the Smokey Point restaurant.
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SMOKEY POINT Since opening in March, the Lakewood Crossing branch of the Boston Pizza Restaurant chain has offered its patrons what its manager considers a unique experience: pizza served in a casual but stylish dining atmosphere.

"We offer 23 varieties of gourmet pizzas, but there's more than just pizza on our menu," said manager Jennifer Haffner, in between taking reservations and guiding customers to tables. "We also serve gourmet pasta, entrees like ribs and chicken parmesan, salads, sandwiches and burgers."

The restaurant also boasts some big screens in its sports bar, with nine 50-inch plasma TVs broadcasting "every possible sports package imaginable," in Haffner's words. She touted the televised games as ideal entertainment for late nights, since the restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, as well as "happy hours."

"Our happy hours are seven days a week, from 3-6 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. until closing time," Haffner said. "We offer special prices on meals and drinks, including cheap appetizers."

Their happy hour prices may be cheap, but Haffner assured patrons that their meals are prepared with care.

"We hand-press our pizza dough in-house, fresh every day, without machines," Haffner said. "We also use a higher quality of ingredients than the standard takeout or delivery pizza places, from our cheese and vegetables to our meat, are fresh every day."

The restaurant also offers takeouts, both for individuals and for larger groups, which Haffner estimated have ranged so far "from eight to 80," but their seating can accommodate larger groups as well. The restaurant itself seats 125, while the sports bar seats 75, and the soon-to-be-opened patio area will seat approximately 100.

"So far we've been able to book groups of as many as 40, while still providing plenty of room for walk-in guests," Haffner said.

Haffner encouraged creative patrons to create their own pizza topping combinations, and noted that the "lunch special" allows returning patrons to eat every fourth lunch free.

"We cater a lot to families and kids," Haffner said. "We have a huge kids' menu. We offer a little bit of everything."

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