The first store, at Crosstown Plaza, opened in 1982 with a stake of about $100,000, and the westside store opened in 1985.<ref>Werth, Brian (May 20, 2001). "Restaurateur values teamwork, leadership, detail". The Herald Times. Retrieved on January 27, 2009.</ref> There was another location near IUPUI in Indianapolis but legal disputes caused that store to be taken over by Hot Box Pizza.
The franchise's signature meal, the Big Ten Bargain, was renamed in 2008 after receiving a cease and desist letter from the Big Ten Conference.<ref>Rodriguez, Mercedes (September 3, 2008). "Pizza deal renamed after Big Ten objects". The Herald Times. Retrieved on January 27, 2009.</ref>
At halftime of every home IU Men's Soccer game, the Pizza Express van comes out playing loud music and "Express Man", a student dressed as a superhero, comes out and delivers pizza to the fans.
Pizza Express is owned by One World Enterprises.