The family-owned Pizza Oven, a small pizzeria at 80th and State Line, has closed. The restaurant's website puts it very simply: "Closed for business."
When the restaurant opened, in December of 2008, owners Kevin and Chris Ferrel were optimistic about their mom-and-pop pizza parlor, even if the location had a lousy track record: Before the Pizza Oven took it over, the storefront had been home to two unsuccessful Philly cheesesteak joints and a short-lived Asian restaurant.
The Pizza Oven remained opened longer than I predicted. Sure, the location was lousy, but honestly, I never thought the Ferrel's pizza and sandwiches were all that memorable. I have friends, however, who were fiercely loyal to the restaurant.
"I loved that restaurant. Loved it!" says Jeanne Troxell, who lives with her daughters a few blocks away from the Pizza Oven. "I thought it was one of the best pizzas in the city. The texture of the crust was wonderful, the sauce was delicious -- even the little nothing salads were good because the family made their own dressings.
"I'm so sorry to see it go," Troxell says. "But I could tell that the business wasn't so good. The dining room never seemed busy. I'm surprised it stayed in business as long as it did."