PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s been two months since a huge fire broke out in Market Square, damaging La Gondola Pizzeria.
After the November 2019 fire at Wingharts damaged the popular pizzeria next door, La Gondola owner Sergio Muto hoped for a quick reopening.
“We try to reopen as soon as we can. This is our livelihood, and we need to reopen soon,” Muto told KDKA last Nov. 21.
But two months later, La Gondola is still closed.
“I’m the victim and feel that the city of Pittsburgh, it’s not helping me anyway,” Muto told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Monday. “I’ve been running into a brick wall many times with permits.”
Firefighters had to cut open half the roof on Muto’s building to keep the fire from spreading.
So he had to find quick repair work, which he did through the Amish company Eclipse Roofing.
But getting the city permits to complete all the repair work turned out to be more complicated.
Delano: “Did it surprise you that it’s taken this long?”
Muto: “Yes, very much because I think after being 40 years in downtown Pittsburgh, the city should have moved to make an exception and move a little bit faster on this, so I could go up and reopen.”
There’s a lot of work left to be done.
But while KDKA was there, a key permit arrived, giving him hope.
“Number one thing that I miss is my customers and coming to work every day,” Muto said. “I love what I’m doing.”
Now that he finally has his last permit in order to complete repairs at his place, Muto hopes that La Gondola will open sometime in mid-February.