It has been a slow and painful death for Gusano’s Pizza in the Rivermarket. It appears things are officially over based on a posting by the owner of the building, Newmark Moses Tucker, who is seeking a new tenant for the location.
The pizzeria opened their original location in 2004 in the River Market. They made a name serving “Chicago Style” pizza and for several years was a popular destination for the rapidly growing River Market district and later grew to other locations throughout the region. The small chain once held locations in Texas, Missouri, Kansas, and NWA, although several of those locations are now closed as well.
Things began looking tough for the flagship Little Rock spot last August when a dispute between the owner Tim Chappell and property owner Newmark Moses Tucker shut the shop down for several weeks. Later last year a second property leased from Moses Tucker by Chappell on 3rd street that was originally set to become Smokey Joe’s BBQ had a sheriff’s notice forcing Chappell to vacate the space.
Last week Gusano’s announced that they were closed for “renovations and routine maintenance”. Something that has become code for “about to close” lately in the local restaurant scene. Right on cue, Moses-Tucker posted a notice today that the space was available for lease. Calls to the restaurant went unanswered. We will update if we hear anything from Chappell.
As always it is sad to see a local spot close. Especially one that, at one point, showed potential for a lot of growth. I have a feeling the prime real estate the space occupied will not go vacant for long.