Owner to Rename 30 Area Papa John's

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Chicago-It's the battle of the papas, pitting Papa John's against Papa Tony's. Papa John's is the third largest pizza chain in the country, but the identity of Papa Tony's is harder to figure out. Following a long running battle with the pizza chain, Papa John's franchise owner Antoin "Tony" Rezko is converting his 30 Chicago area restaurants and seven Detroit sites and renaming them after himself, Papa Tony's.

The move reduces Chicago-area Papa John's to just six restaurants, devastating its local presence. "The relationship just was not working," said Gene Murphy, an attorney representing the new entity. Murphy said the termination came after a dispute over the pricing of ingredients and the licensing of nearby rival Papa John's restaurants.

Both sides in the dispute acknowledge the change was made when Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John's International Inc. terminated Rezko's franchise license about 10 days ago. Papa John's is planning on returning to the Chicago area with another group of owners, rejuvenating its presence in the nation's second largest pizza market, after New York. -Chicago Daily Herald

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