Downtown Hamilton eatery closes

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

A downtown Hamilton eatery has closed its doors.

Pappa Luigi’s, a downtown pizzeria, served its last customer on Tuesday.

The pizzeria, located at 23 N. Third St., was purchased in late 2012 by Mindy Muller of Community Development Professionals in an effort to build a social enterprise intended to provide work for hard-to-employ people by teaching them job skills through steady employment.

“We didn’t have the revenue to continue and it wasn’t consistent enough to expand the pizzeria’s hours or to employ more people,” she said. “It was a difficult decision to shut the doors … We gave it all we had, but we believe more jobs can be created by focusing efforts on our other enterprises.”

Muller said she does not plan to reopen the pizzeria and said she is talking with its about 12 employees to find other positions within the businesses in her organization.

While she said she remains very supportive of the city’s efforts to revitalize and redevelop the downtown area, Muller said downtown Hamilton can be a difficult market for a new restaurant.

“I’d love to see another restaurant go in there,” she said.

Despite Tuesday’s closing of Pappa Luigi’s, City Manager Joshua Smith said he strongly believes that downtown Hamilton is primed to have more restaurants.

Smith pointed out that the Historic Mercantile Lofts is 100 percent leased and more people will be living downtown once the ArtSpace project is completed and that there will be a greater demand for more restaurants.

He said as the city continues its focus to redevelop the downtown neighborhood, there will be a greater demand for more restaurants and other amenities for those residents.

This is the second attempt in as many years for the pizzeria to make a go in the downtown area. Muller said the restaurant’s previous owner closed it in October 2012 after six months to better tend to his primary business.

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