ST. CLOUD - After months of preparation and remodeling, a popular Melrose pizza restaurant is hoping to open its new location in Sauk Rapids next week.

John Dough's Pizza is at 319 North Benton Drive and has been operating in Melrose for around 10 years. Owner Leon Pierskalla says he’s considered opening a location in the St. Cloud-Sauk Rapids area for years.

John Dough's Pizza, Facebook

"I'm originally from St. Cloud, so I know the area well. We looked at probably about 4-5 locations and this was just the best fit for us, everything lined up and we're very happy with it."

John Dough’s cooks their pizza in old school brick ovens. With a slogan: "Pizza to Die For", Pierskalla says they've perfected a secret recipe that makes their pies unique.

"It's a secret recipe so I can't divulge much," Pierskalla says with a smile, "You just have to come out and try it, it's amazing."

Staff spent months restoring the interior and exterior of the building, the new location comes complete with a large table made from a bowling lane and an old fashioned John Dough’s Pizza truck in the parking lot.

Pierskalla says the Melrose location will continue to run as normal and that they're excited to serve hungry guests in Sauk Rapids soon. They will offer delivery.

"We're so close right now, less than a week away. We're excited and put a lot of time and effort into making this building perfect. There was no stone unturned, it's pretty much brand new inside and out."

Aside from pizza, John Dough's will serve sandwiches, pastas, salads, hoagies and other italian foods. The restaurant will also serve beer and wine but emphasizes a family restaurant atmosphere.

To keep up to date on a specific opening date announcement, Pierskalla recommends you follow their Facebook page. 

John Dough's in Sauk Rapids. (Dan DeBaun, WJON)