A longtime Bay Terrace pizza shop is closing its doors after nearly 50 years in business.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Jack’s Pizza and Pasta would be going out of business amid a dispute between the restaurant’s owners and Cord Meyer, the development company that owns the Bay Terrace Shopping Center where Jack’s is located.
The owners of Jack’s Pizza posted a sign outside of the establishment at the shopping center claiming that Cord Meyer’s CEO Matthew Whalen refused to renew the restaurant’s lease, effectively forcing them out after decades of business. The sign also stated that Jack’s had stayed open “at the height of the COVID pandemic.”
But Cord Meyer issued a statement saying that the restaurant’s lease had expired in September 2020 and they had failed to renew it.
“Their lease expired in September 2020, but in acknowledgment of their long history, we agreed to let them stay until the end of 2021 and offered them generous rent concessions. We are disappointed that our relationship with Jack’s has been mischaracterized. If a tenant refuses to meet agreed-upon obligations, we need to focus on ensuring that the Bay Terrace remains a vibrant shopping center,” said a Cord Meyer spokesperson.
Laura, the daughter of Anna and Jack Sapienza who opened the business in 1972, told Patch that finances were tight when they ran a takeout-only operation during the pandemic. During that time, Laura claimed that the Sapienzas paid Cord Meyer “as much as we could” from March through December 2020 but had their rent check returned in January 2021 followed by a 30-day eviction notice.
Several reports claimed that the owners of the pizzeria were planning to pay back Cord Meyer for the missing rent, which the company allegedly approved during COVID.
Cord Meyer said that they will allow Jack’s Pizza to stay in its current location until Jan. 15 before shutting down the operation for good.
In the midst of the tenant-landlord feud, Maspeth-based restaurant Rosa Pizza announced via Instagram that it will open a shop at the Bay Terrace, which the owners of Jack’s Pizza told Patch was the plan all along.
But Cord Meyer reportedly said that the company is “not currently discussing prospective tenants,” despite closing down Jack’s Pizza.