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Fresh-baked, not brewed

The drive-through on the west end of the Dublin Mall parking lot, where customers once ordered their cappuccinos and double lattes, began serving pepperoni pizzas and chicken wings Tuesday.

The former standalone Starbucks has reopened as a Little Caesars restaurant. The Dublin location also will serve as headquarters for four other Little Caesars across the midstate, said owner Chris Camp.

“This building is a little bigger, so we have our offices here,” he said.

Camp said converting the coffee shop — one of hundreds closed by Starbucks in 2008 — into a pizza place “was a challenge.” But he and his wife, Leatha, who hail from Braselton, were better prepared for that job than most: They’re also partners in an Atlanta construction company.

“I’m a general contractor by trade,” said Camp. “We decided to do the conversion ourselves.”

The building was practically new. The coffee shop was open for about a year before Starbucks shut it down.

The restaurant fills carry-out orders only — no dine-in or delivery — which Camp says will keep costs down. Its featured menu item is the $5 Hot-N-Ready special — a 16-inch pepperoni or cheese pizza served “all day, every day,” Camp said

The Camps also expect the drive-through window to be a big draw.

“We’ll be the first store to try that out down here ...” Chris Camp said. “We’ll be the first to have a full drive-through.”

The restaurant’s hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The drive-through might be extended if the demand is there, Camp said.

The Dublin location employs 52 people, according to Camp. All the dough is made fresh, and none of the ingredients is frozen, he said.

“That’s why we have a much bigger staff,” he said.

The Camps also plan to open Little Caesars restaurants in Perry, Milledgeville, Cordele and Americus.

To contact writer Rodney Manley, call 744-4623.

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