What happened to Alley Cats Pizza?


#1

What happened to Alley Cats pizza, didn’t they have like 12 restaurants and now their down to 2? Didn’t see that coming.


#2

Lots of changes in the pizza scene here, with some key older players like Mary Jane changing hands…

On the plus side, there are some fabulous independent shops now: Zoca’s, Gusto, and a stand-and-eat joint called Pizza Guild up and running directly across from NTU’s main gate.

EDIT: I could add Solo Pizza in Zhongshan to this list. There are lots of choices now.

Guy


#3

can’t say for sure but the general level of pizzas has gone up since i’ve been here, which is a nice trend. alley cats biscuit pizza ain’t cutting it any more!


#4

Yeah, that was a bit sad. But I end up making pizza at home more, and it’s not only cheaper but far better, and the boys love to help make the dough and top the pies, so… it’s all good.

I agree, the pizza scene is WAAAY better than it was a quarter of a century ago when I first arrived. I’d love to hear more recommendations of new places that rock, in a different thread.


#5

Its awful and overpriced.


#6

I never understood why Alleycats was popular. Their pizza sucked big time. Thin hard crust with a few grams of topping that could be anything from banana to honey.


#7

What I meant was how did they go from 12 to 2 restaurants in such a quick time?


#8

Well, people here are saying that it wasn’t that great in the first place and then lots of other restaurants appeared, some of them making decent pizza. And it was overpriced. I guess that would explain it…?


#9

Because most of those were franchises and the Alleycat founders had no role in the quality of the pizzas.


#10

Was it that quick? The Danshui branch closed a while ago now.

For me, it just started to seem overpriced, especially once I started making my own pizza at home. Plus I got annoyed about spending $40 extra or whatever for what amounted to a single white mushroom.

I wonder how often this happens with local chains. Sababa was similar, but faster - went from one or two stores, to all over Taipei, and then back to one or two stores. Dunkin’ Donuts, too. For Sababa and Dunkin’, I suspect they mistook initial enthusiasm for longterm demand; on the other hand, I think Alleycat’s had a reasonably good run.


#11

Sababa and Alleycats followed a similar business model. They spun off branches but after initial set up they were independent franchises. hence the variable quality.

The Alleycats in Huashan is the original owners. I drink there but don’t eat there. Are the pizzas really bad?


#12

Sababa is nice but overpriced. If you like their stuff, they have a food stall in one of the alleys around TaiDa (is that the street/area? don’t remember anymore).


#13

Au contraire, my ursine companero, there were never franchises. Each location had a discrete complement of investors (in various combinations), but the founders were fully hands-on in the day-to-day operations of them all. All the dough and sauce (and many or most other ingredients) came from one central production facility.


#14

I live in Danshui, so for me the biggest virtue of their expansion were their branches in Tianmu and Taipei Main Station, places that I regularly passed through at the time. But both of those branches are long gone now.

Sababa I’ve always put in the category of “Not a fantastic version of the cuisine, but I live in Taiwan, and beggars can’t be choosers.” Which is what Alleycat’s was to pizza twelve years ago - but there are a lot more options these days.


#15

I stand corrected and bow to your superior knowledge.

However in more recent times weren’t some of them completely stand alone?


#16

No sir, never did.
The Sababa citation is accurate, though. As has been discussed, Tomer did do a full on franchise offering for branches and then divested himself of even the original location. Cashed the fat cheques and opened Toasteria (and the eventual fate of the Sababas is, well, history).
Smart cookie that he is.


#17

I remember back in the day on the old phb forum the owner posted under the username alleycats but then stopped posting. I remember his tagline was ‘at alleycats baking pizza’ so I figured he was quite involved in the business.


#18

When I moved here they were generally the consensus for the best/only pizza in Taipei and, honestly, weren’t terrible. The last time I went was in the Huashan location and it was insanely overpriced with average quality and better options a few blocks in every direction. I don’t really like nor eat pizza but there are a few really decent places in Taipei now.


#19

Sorry, if one were referring to Alan, the “founding founder”, yes, he walked away from the operation, but that was back when there was only the original location down by Li Hsuei, like, 14 years ago or so.


#20

Not great not bad. Slyly geared towards local taste and quality of ingredients