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50-Year-Old Oxford Business Looking to Sell Building or Close Doors Forever

For a lot of people in Oxford, when they hear the word pizza they automatically think of Pizza Den, grabbing a muffuletta, pizza or stromboli for lunch and if the weather is nice, sitting on the restaurant’s back patio to enjoy it.
Cathy2Robert Whitaker, or Pizza Bob as he was affectionately known, started the restaurant some fifty years ago and it continues today, run basically by two of his children, Cathy Allen and Jeff Whitaker.
But Cathy Allen said that family tradition may come to an end soon if the family can’t sell the building and continue to run the business under a lease agreement instead.
“Unfortunately, this is our only choice,” Allen said. “Our ideal plan is to sell the building, which we own now, and then lease it from the new owner and continue to run the business.”
Allen said financial woes due to alleged errors in judgment by a former accountant, without the family’s knowledge, were at the crux of this decision to sell the Pizza Den building to pay off mounting debt.
Cathy6“Of course, we have a new accountant now, but the amount of debt is pretty high, so we need to get close to what the building appraises for in order to pay it off.”
Allen said if they couldn’t sell the building, they might have no choice but to close the entire business.
“We have had some offers,” Allen said, “but nothing concrete yet. And there isn’t a definitive close date if we don’t sell, but we’ll probably have to do it. It really would be a good investment, considering how long we’ve been in business and how established we are. And business is going pretty well now.
“The sad part is Pizza Den has always provided our family with jobs, kids and grandkids. We’ve all worked here over the years. When I say it’s family-owned and operated, I mean just that.”
Pizza Den is located at 499 Heritage Dr.
Angela Rogalski is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at angela.rogalski@hottytoddy.com.

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