Prank Pizza Ranch sign stirs up social media frenzy

According to Isanti Community Development Director Sheila Sellman, there is no known truth to this sign.

For many years, rumors have been swirling that a Pizza Ranch is slated to open in the Cambridge/Isanti area. Dating back at least to when Office Max closed their store next to Target about seven years ago, the same rumor gets circulated whenever a business building is being constructed, a piece of property is marked as sold, or an existing business’ building becomes vacant.

The rumors have become so rampant, it has become the expected “punchline” to social media queries regarding information about a certain property or construction site.

Last week, an unknown person took the joke one step further, hanging a sign stating “Coming soon, Fall 2022,” with a picture of a Pizza Ranch building, from a “For Sale/Sold” sign along Heritage Boulevard in Isanti. That sign was quickly taken down, but not before photos of it were posted on at least two community Facebook pages, prompting several hundred comments and numerous shares. 

According to Isanti Community Development Director Sheila Sellman, fans of the buffet-style restaurant are in for disappointment. Sellman confirmed there were site plans up for review by the Planning Commission at their Aug. 17 meeting, however it is primarily for a dental office. And while the site plan also calls for 1,800 square feet of tenant space, nothing in the plans indicate that tenant will be Pizza Ranch.

“As of right now, I can’t confirm that a Pizza Ranch is going into that space,” Sellman said. “It was not part of their application and no one from Pizza Ranch has reached out to me.”

While a city appreciates enthusiasm for potential new business in the community, it also cautions residents to not buy into rumors being spread via social media. Sellman said she is available for anyone with community development questions (including representatives from Pizza Ranch) to give her a call.

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