On Monday, Bella Italia in Largo closed after 40 years in business due to rising rent and food costs. The same fate has unfortunately fallen upon Tour de Pizza's flagship location in St. Petersburg's Northeast Shopping Center at 212 37th Ave.
According to an interview with FlaPol, owner Matt McClellan said he decided to not renew the lease of the shopping center location because of rising rent costs.
"The original lease had a 3% cap on yearly rent increases, but when it ended, Publix, which owns the property, wanted to charge market value for the space, which would have increased rent by about $2,000 a month," McClellan explained to the publication.
Tour de Pizza's parcel has been replaced by Westshore Pizza, a locally-based franchise that has deeper pockets than a small business owner.
Tour de Pizza, founded in 2008, has a menu comprised of specialty 'zas and subs. The restaurant is also known for McClellan's belief that pizza is actually healthy food. It's the home of the "30-day pizza diet" after all. To prove his point, the pizza shop owner biked from St. Petersburg to New York in 2010. Powered on pizza? We can get behind it.
Although the OG Tour de Pizza location has shuttered, Tour de Pizza Deux is still going strong at 8824 4th St. N. just three-and-a-half miles away. McClellan also said that he'll soon expand business hours to midnight, and add morning hours to serve up breakfast pizzas and Kahwa coffee.
Hours for the Fourth Street location are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Want to know everything going on with Tampa Bay's food and drink scene? Sign up for our Bites newsletter.