VESTAL, NY – A popular mom and pop pizza place will close it’s doors for the final time tomorrow.
Richie’s Pizza on the Vestal Parkway has decided to close amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The restaurant remained open for a little over a year after the passing of the owner, Richie Stevens, last May from brain cancer.
Stevens and his wife, Andrea, opened the location in 2015.
Andrea, who now solely owns the place, says that Richie had a deep love for his community, specially the students from Vestal High School, who would regularly stop in on their lunch periods, sharing a particularly fond first day of school story.
“Sure enough, Richie was here, waiting for them. He had just gotten out of the hospital eight days before. He was here and they ran in that door just waiting and hoping he’d be here. And he was,” says Andrea.
Andrea says that after Richie’s passing, it was harder for regular customers to come in, saying there were a lot of tears.
Richie was known for personal connections with his customers, including knowing their names and orders.
She adds that business has hurt since the pandemic started, and she’s found it especially hard to watch the number of cars in drive thrus, when it’s locally owned businesses who need it the most.
As for closing, she says it’s time to start the next chapter.
“It’s time, you know? It’s my time. I did what I needed to do. It was his dream and I took care of him and I took care of his dream, and I did the best that I could do and I have no regrets, you know? It’s my time now,” says Andrea.
There’s still time to grab a last minute slice at Richie’s, as they are open for the last time from noon to 8 Saturday.
You can watch Andrea’s full interview on the legacy of Richie, as well as the decision to close, below.