PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local pizza shop owner says two robberies in a matter of weeks may be enough to drive him out of business, but the mayor is trying to reassure him that the city has his back.
At lunchtime on Tuesday at Mandy’s Pizza in Observatory Hill, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto met with restaurant owner Steve Negri over a medium pepperoni.
They talked about law and order and keeping the pizza shop open for business.
“It’s a pizza shop in Observatory Hill. It’s a card shop in Bloomfield. It’s a business that’s been around for 40 years in Beechview. It’s the lifeblood of the City of Pittsburgh. It’s what makes Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh. I just want to make sure that they know we have their back,” said Mayor Peduto.
Mandy’s Pizza was robbed twice recently by a man with a gun demanding cash. The employees were so afraid that most of them quit.
“This business has been here for 30-plus years, and if it goes away, it’s gonna happen in your community. It doesn’t matter where you live, you’re not safe,” said Negri.
It’s not that Negri can’t make a good pizza, because he can. The problem is Negri doesn’t have employees. He needs 10 after the others quit.
“That’s the big problem. I can say I’m here to stay, but if I don’t have staff to run it, you can’t do it by yourself,” said Negri.
To that end, Mayor Peduto and Pittsburgh Police can’t hire pizza tossers, but they can increase bike patrols and foot patrols and promise enforcement is paramount.
“You’ll definitely see bike patrols picking up during the day. It’s one of the bigger business districts on the North Side. We will have continued patrols a little picked up as well,” said Mayor Peduto.
Meanwhile, Negri is hiring at Mandy’s and promising to hang in here as long as he can.