Patrons react to Armand's closure
WTOP's Dick Uliano
WASHINGTON - A pizza-pioneering staple of the Washington lunch scene will soon close its Wisconsin Avenue doors.
Citing rising costs, Armand's Chicago Pizzeria, with seven locations in the District, Maryland and Delaware, plans to shutter its flagship store in Tenleytown in Northwest.
The other locations will remain open for now, says co-owner Ron Neumeyer, the son of the founder.
"I like to think we changed the perception of pizza in Washington, D.C.," he says of the restaurant's signature deep dish product. Neumeyer's father opened the restaurant in 1975 when rents were only a few hundred dollars.
As D.C. becomes more affluent, with particularly concentrated wealth in the neighborhoods in and around Tenleytown, Armand's Pizza couldn't afford the current $12,000 cost per month to rent the building with its signature striped awning and white picket fence at 4231 Wisconsin Ave.
"The rents are escalating rapidly, the cost of food is enormous (and) there's a tremendous amount of competition," Neumeyer says.
Listen to the reaction from area residents in the audio at right.
WTOP's Dick Uliano contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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