HUMBOLDT PARK — West Town Pizza Shop, an unassuming pizza joint that has called North Avenue home for four years, is closing at the end of September, owner Safa Moayyed said.
Moayyed said economic challenges, including taxes, ultimately led to the restaurant's demise. Working 90-plus hours a week for little payoff was no longer sustainable, he said.
"Hopefully [I'll] move on to an easy way to make money because this is too hard," said Moayyed, 49, who has lived in the neighborhood for 16 years.
The last day is set for Sept. 30.
For most of its four-year run, West Town Pizza Shop sold pizza slices and salads out of the back of a convenience store at 2525 W. North Ave. The store eventually moved out. Now, Moayyed, who also owns the building, is currently looking for a new tenant for both spaces.
"I want to pave the way for a breakfast or lunch place to open up, which would accommodate more people in the neighborhood because there's not much west of Western" Avenue, he said.
The pizza joint had some loyal fans, if online reviews are any indication.
"The best pizza place in town. It costs only $5 for big slice of pizza and pop. The front door gentleman and the owner are extremely nice people. Would recommend this place," one Yelper wrote.
Another wrote: "West Town Pizza Shop is an exceptional place to grab a food ... their gluten free pizza was delicious!"
Moayyed, who is planning to get back into real estate, expressed the utmost gratitude to his customers, saying, "I just want to thank them for supporting me for the past four years. Hopefully, I'll see you in the neighborhood."