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Three of five HotLips Pizza locations in Portland are shutting down

The Portland chain is shutting down its restaurants on Northeast Killingsworth, in the Hollywood district and across the street from Providence Park downtown.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland pizzeria chain HotLips is closing three of its five restaurants, dropping to just two remaining locations. In a Facebook post on Monday, the company cited "pandemic, labor and economic stresses" as reasons for the closure.

The closing stores are the Northeast Killingsworth location, the Hollywood district location and the downtown Civic location across the street from Providence Park. All three closures are effective Monday, March 27. 

The company's two remaining restaurants are in the Pearl District and on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, and it will also continue to offer catering services in Portland and a mobile pizza trailer for special events, according to the post.

Credit: KGW
HotLips Pizza locations

Co-owner David Yudkin said the company was able to reorganize its operations to keep going through the pandemic, but negative economic conditions have persisted, forcing HotLips to switch to a smaller crew and footprint with "realistic, attainable goals."

"It is little comfort that we are not alone in these hardships; we are also not alone in the drastic changes that must be put into place in order to carry on," he said.

Co-owner Jeana Edelman said some of the staff that would be laid off due to the closures have been with the company for years or even decades. Laid off staff will be given a week's severance.

"I have sincere gratitude for the time they've given us, and deep sadness at this unfortunate turn. This is one of the darkest days in HOTLIPS' history," she said. "Please, support the local businesses in your neighborhood and our city. Every single one needs your patronage."

Credit: HotLips Pizza
HotLips Pizza Civic location

HotLips has closed one other location previously; the Portland State University store shut down in mid-2020. In a blog post at the time, the company said the pandemic lockdown measures resulted in an "emptying out" of the PSU neighborhood, making the shop unsustainable.

The latest closures come at a time when many Portland restaurants and other businesses have continued to struggle with labor shortages, inflation and supply chain disruptions even as customer traffic has picked back up from pandemic lows.

Earlier this month, Portland-based convenience store chain Green Zebra announced it would close down all three of its three stores after 10 years in operation. Founder and CEO Lisa Sedlar cited rising costs of "goods, packaging, fuel, insurance, taxes, freight charges and well, pretty much everything."

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