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50-Year-Old Pizzeria To Relocate, Amidst Controversy

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/50yearoldp_3714.mp3

After a long row over parking issues, a 50-year old Springfield pizzeria has just over a month to find a new location. KSMU's Jennifer Moore reports.

Stacey Schneider has been rolling dough at the Pizza house since she was fifteen years old and has managed the small restaurant for the past five years.

She says the Pizza House has one motto: Giving customers a hard time and feeding them good food.

But soon the restaurant that opened in 1958 will not be able to feed its customers from its current location.

The month before its 50th anniversary, it is being forced to find a new building.

Springfield businessman Jim Morris owns the property and sent the Pizza House and several neighboring businesses an eviction notice Wednesday.

Pizza House staff say they were surprised and saddened by the eviction.

But Morris says there's more to the eviction notice than what local media have portrayed.

He says the eviction was a last resort, and that it comes after months of verbal and physical harassment from the Pizza House staff directed at him and his family.

He adds that he simply doesn't want to do business with someone who he says has threatened him.

The feud, Morris says, arose after months of the Pizza House and neighboring shops using parking areas designated for buildings owned by Morris, and ignoring repeated warnings not to do so.

Morris says buying the property made sense for him business-wise, because it joins the other properties he already owns on Bennett and Glenstone.

As for the timing of the eviction, Morris says he was not aware that the restaurant's 50th anniversary was approaching, but as he understands it, the anniversary is in mid-October and the eviction notice is not until October 31st.

Meanwhile, Pizza House manager Stacey Schneider says she's optimistic about the future of her business.

Schnieder says she's already looking at new locations for the restaurant.

For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.