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ORLANDO-California Pizza Kitchen has opened its first metro Orlando restaurant in 5,000 sf leased for an estimated five years at the new wing of the 1.6-million-sf Florida Mall in south Orlando.

The 157-seat restaurant, next to the new Nordstrom department store, will have an exhibition kitchen where guests may watch pizza makers perform.

The Los Angeles-based restaurant chain is donating all of its pizza sales Sept. 24 to Orlando-based Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women.

Based on the publicly traded company’s reported average weekly sales, the daily take Sept. 24 could amount to about $8,000. CPK averaged $56,631 per week in the second quarter, up from $55,029 in the comparable 2001 period.

California Pizza posted net income of $4.3 million for the quarter ended June 30, up 31%. Revenue increased by 25% to $75.6 million. Restaurants opened at least a year showed sales increases of 5.1%.

The company operates, licenses or franchises 141 restaurants–109 are company owned; 32 are franchised or licensed.

Former Los Angeles federal prosecutors Larry S. Flax and Richard L. Rosenfield founded the chain in 1985 and serve as co-chairmen. Frederick R. Hipp, a former president/CEO at Houlihan’s Restaurant Group, Kansas City, MO, is CEO of California Pizza Kitchen.

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