PITTSBURGH - A Pittsburgh pizza shop is closing its doors, and the owner says it's due to increasing crime.
The owners of Mandy’s Place in Observatory Hill alerted customers Monday that the business is closing after 37 years in the neighborhood.
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The West View location will remain open.
“While we have put this off for weeks, we could not see fit to allow this location to remain open as a result of the…COWARD who not only chose to rob our store once at gun point, but twice,” the statement reads.
An armed gunman robbed the shop twice in eight days over the summer, and no arrest has been made.
“I sit at night and I worry that if that phone rings, this time somebody got shot. And I can't do that,” Negri said. “I just can't do that. I can't ask what's left of the team down there to do that. It’s just not fair to them.”
Owner Steve Negri said in his statement to customers that he hasn’t seen much progress since his one-on-one meeting with Mayor Bill Peduto following the crimes.
“It went from high priority to why don't you give me a call,” Negri told Channel 11 News in August.
Mandy’s Place has also been the target of numerous break-ins and vandalism over the years.
“You will definitely see the bike patrols picking up during the day and then at night. As one of the larger business districts on the North Side, Zone One will have continued patrols and picked up as well,” Peduto said following his meeting with Negri in July.
Negri sent a seven-page letter to Peduto on Monday, alerting him to the closing.
In it, Negri says extra patrols have likely helped to prevent a third robbery, but he feels the neighborhood has largely been forgotten by the city.
“Now, Mandy’s Pizza on Perrysville will be yet another business that HAS HAD ENOUGH and cannot place their staff, or our family, in fear for their life or financial instability just in hopes that Observatory Hill will be revitalized, or become safer again.”
"It’s not safe. It’s beyond just not safe, it’s not fiscally conscious anymore,” Negri said Monday.
The mayor’s office defended their response and issued the following statement: “Mayor Peduto increased police patrols in the area, met with business owners, directed his community affairs staff work with neighborhood groups and recently held a citywide meeting on public safety.”
The mayor’s office said Negri owes back taxes, and that may be why he’s closing.
Negri said there was a mix-up, “I don’t know what they’re talking about. I don’t owe anybody anything.”