We opened our first restaurant In Beverly Hills in 1985. Former federal prosecutors Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax combined their passion for food with fresh high-quality ingredients to create innovative, hearth-baked pizzas such as The Original BBQ Chicken, Thai Chicken, and Jamaican Jerk Chicken, cooked in an open kitchen. The restaurant gave California a place in the pizza pantheon alongside Chicago and New York. Our California twist on global flavors resonated with guests, and almost immediately, CPK became a bustling spot for business and family gatherings.
Almost immediately after the first location opened, we expanded from California to more than 250 locations in more than 30 states and 11 countries. But it doesn’t stop there; you’ll also find us bringing smiles to the pizza aisle in your grocer’s freezer, taking the edge off travel fatigue in major airports all over the world, feeding eager fans at sports stadiums and students on college campuses.
California Pizza Kitchen completed an initial public offering in August 2000 and traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the ticker symbol CPKI. On July 7, 2011, Golden Gate Capital completed the acquisition of CPK and as a result of the acquisition, the company’s common stock is no longer publicly traded.
On August 18, 2011, G.J. Hart was named President, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman.