Panhandle Pizza Vanishes…

Walked to Panhandle Pizza today hoping to get a delicious cornmeal crust slice, perhaps even toy with the popular vegan/soy cheese options…

But instead i saw the sickening site of a hollowed out storefront, devoid of ovens, refrigerators or anything related to pizza making. A couple bags of garbage were being dragged out, the sinking shock was so disturbing I shirked my journalistic responsibility and didn’t even ask the folks working , uh, what’s up?

panhandlepizza1.jpg

The place has always been rather eccentric, a relic of daze gone by, sorta like the whole stretch of Hayes St. it’s located on. The workers were generally neighborhood teenagers, and an unreliable junkie delivery guy hung in there for awhile. I once asked the owner why he’d stopped selling beers, and he said it “wasn’t making any money”…

uh, I know it’s hard to lose money in the alcohol biz…but if ya try hard enough…I guess anythings possible…

There was an ad on Craigslist in May that this place was for sale, well I’ll just assume there were no buyers, and it must have finally just ended.

A cursory review of their last city health inspection in June didn’t look great and included several violations:

1. Certain food that is not hot enough or cold enough.
2. Food stored improperly.
3. Empty soap dispenser or towels.
4. Dirty utensils/equipment.
5. Improperly cleaned kitchen surfaces.
6. Deteriorated walls/floor/ceiling.
7. Unclean premises.

and my favorite

8. Severe Rat or mice infestation.

The grumpy hippie pizzaman owner who bought the joint a couple years back has hung up his Birkenstock cleats…

Maybe we’re all safer for it…

I’ll assume the “herbal relief remedies” biz continues to be better received around his social circle…

R.I.P another local small biz quasi- institution…

4 Comments so far

  1. violet (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2007 @ 11:26 am

    ah, no wonder they never answered their phone when I called for a soy pizza the other night — and I was certainly better off for that. but it’s sad, gone are the days of a (for me) nearby soy pie fix.

    I ended up ordering from Goat Hill; their SOMA location (on Harrison) delivers, and my soy pizza arrived hot and delish.


  2. TinMan (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2007 @ 9:03 am

    My guess is that they lost their beer & wine license because they were caught selling booze to underage customers. Heck, there’s a good chance that’s one of the main causes of their demise.

    The margins in the F&B industry are razor-thin, especially for mom & pop shops like this and liquor sales will often make or break a business. The markups are so high that you really can’t lose money selling beer and wine (your profits can erode by poor inventory control and employees giving away freebies, etc.).


  3. TheRobin (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2007 @ 12:18 pm

    I was a customer of this joint for more than 15 years. The quality dropped off big-time when the new owner took over a few years back. The new owner was a very unlikable dude also. The real lesson here is some people suck at being business owners. You have to have some level of people skills to survive. As for the beers disappearing.. about 2 years ago I ordered a beer while I waited for my pie to get done. The thing tasted a bit “off”… as I looked at the “born on” date, I noticed it was over a year old! Yuck! When I asked him for a newer beer, he basically told me too bad… so for me not much sorrow goes out to this dude.


  4. TinMan (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

    Well, it’s not called the *hospitality* industry for nothing. Some people simply aren’t suited for running restaurants. Hopefully the guy will find sometimg more suited for his prickly demeanor.

    I find it sad that some people tolerate that sort of B.S. in a town with plenty of options.



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