Popular local chain Hotlips Pizza is switching off the ovens at three of its five stores.
The family-owned company, which was founded in 1984, announced today that it has closed its Civic Stadium, Hollywood and Killingsworth restaurants in order to scale back operations. The Pearl location at Northwest 9th Avenue in the Ecotrust Events building and its Hawthorne headquarters, longtime home of the brand’s central kitchen, remain open.
Shuttering those outlets means Hotlips is laying off dozens of workers—an unprecedented event for the Portland company.
“It is with a terribly heavy heart that we must close these beloved stores and have the first layoffs in our history,” owner Jeana Edelman said in a statement. “Each person is hardworking and has contributed mightily to the teams they have worked with, and to the longevity and health of our company. Many have been with us for years, decades even. I have sincere gratitude for the time they’ve given us, and deep sadness at this difficult turn. This is one of the darkest days in Hotlips’ history. Please, support the local businesses in your neighborhood and our city. Every single one needs your patronage.”
Hotlips says it will pay all staff in full, plus a week’s severance.
“We gave it our all—sustaining jobs through the entire pandemic by retooling to keep our staff and customers safe, but the ongoing economic effects hurt us profoundly, as with so many other businesses,” added owner David Yudkin. “We plan to move forward with a smaller company, a smaller footprint, fewer moving parts and realistic, attainable goals.”
Hotlips’ remaining pizza shops will continue to serve full pies and slices as well as beer, wine, cider and its original line of real fruit soda. The stores also plan to expand their delivery areas, and the brand’s 16-foot cart is available to reserve for special events.