Confirmed: Pizza Maniac closes its doors

Photo by Tanzeel Sayani

Photo by Tanzeel Sayani

Pizza Maniac, an infamous pizza shop across the street from Wilfrid Laurier University, has closed its doors after the plaza was bought out by PM365 Inc., a property management service.

After serving customers for over five years, the location closed on Monday, September 26, after Laurier’s Homecoming weekend.

Kamal Cheema, owner of Pizza Maniac, said the business was given a six-month notice from their previous landlords in March, which confirmed that they would have to move out of the plaza before the end of September.

‘The previous [owners] came [and] gave us a notice, so they told us six months and that’s it and then we tried to find spots around this area but we can’t and we’re still looking into it,” said Cheema.

Pizza Maniac also received a demolition clause from their previous landlords, which is a clause that gives the lessor the right to cancel a lease upon notice in the event that the lessor decides to demolish a building. However, Cheema does not know if the lessor is planning on demolishing the plaza.

“We got a demolition clause, but we don’t know what their plans are, but [the landlord] didn’t give us a demolition clause notice, they just gave us a vacant owner notice,” said Cheema.

While the King Street location is closed, Pizza Maniac has a second store on Weber Street East in Kitchener. Cheema said the business is looking for a new location around the Laurier area.

“We’ve been looking for a location in this neighbourhood. We want to stay close to the students.”

Since they closed last week, everything in the location has been moved out. According to Cheema, Pizza Maniac offered to re-locate to the back of the plaza, however the landlords declined.

“We told the new landlord that we can move to the back [of the plaza]. We can relocate there because there were three spots empty in the back that we can resign the lease with them, but I guess they didn’t want us to stay there, so he told us that he gave our spot to a national chain,” said Cheema.

Currently, three businesses in the plaza are also closed.

“We were paying our rent on time and we were over there for a long time and we didn’t have any conflicts with the old landlord and we told them we can move in the back, we don’t need to stay in the front.”

According to Cheema, new rates were already in place at the plaza, as units went up to almost double in price per square foot.

“We almost spent over five and a half years making our name in this area and we really wanted to stay in that location,” Cheema continued.

PM365 Inc. currently manages the Westcourt Complex, a University of Waterloo off-campus housing property.

“We take pride in our affiliation with Waterloo’s post-secondary institutions and ensure we comply with their off-campus housing standards (ie. Maintenance, etc),” read their official website.

On social media websites, such as Reddit and Twitter, students have been asking for reasons as to why Pizza Maniac is closed.

“Pizza maniac gone? More of a tragedy than failing a class,” read a tweet on the Spotted at Laurier Twitter account.

According to Cheema, Pizza Maniac originally had a lease that would have lasted until 2018.

Currently, Cheema hopes to keep their Kitchener location busy by putting new items on the menu until they can find another location.

“Our pizza was good and reasonably priced and students love it,” said Cheema. “The kids loved it and we’ll see if we can find another spot to open at.”

The Cord reached out to PM365 Inc. for a statement but they were unable to issue one at this time.

Note: The Cord’s Arts & Life editor, Manjot Bhullar, is Kamal Cheema’s nephew.

8 Comments

  1. Mynt Marsellus says:

    I love me some faceless corporations coming in and destroying local institutions. Can we lookinto this and make sure Phil’s is going to be okay

  2. **its doors

  3. Would definitely be interested in seeing if
    Phil’s will be closing as a result..

  4. Mynt, this isn’t big business destroying local institutions, it’s landlords charging insanely high rents so only big business can afford to pay it.

  5. The guys that pm365 represent have been buying strip malls like this all over kitchener and waterloo. They double the rents when you go to re-lease and chase out tenants they don’t like. Not fun to deal with. I wouldn’t hold high hopes for the rest of the businesses in that plaza lasting.

  6. Corporate landlords tied to REITs, probably packaged with other mutual funds. Its all about profit for Wall Street and Bay Street. No longer mom and pop, or whats good for a neighbourhood. Its only about profit for corporations. If we lose Phil’s over this people will be very upset.

  7. Staff at pizza manic were deplorably rude. Pizza was less than satisfactory. Good riddance.

  8. I hope Phils closes because of this, we need classier bars around here

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