By Justin Jones, Staff Writer
Monday, January 7, 2013 —
Driving by First Street in downtown Albemarle will have a different view in the coming months.
On Dec. 30, Z Pi, a pizza and sandwich styled restaurant and bar, had its last day in operation, at least for the time being.
The Stanly News & Press tried to contact Z Pi’s owner, Edward Hill, multiple times for comment, but none of those calls were returned.
Property owner Sherrill Smith said he was limited in what he would like to say on the restaurant’s operation at the time, but his only comment was that Z Pi was in a period of restructuring.
Whether that means the restaurant will re-open or remain closed, Smith declined to answer.
Earlier last week, Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation’s Executive Director Kathy Almond said that Hill had notified ADDC of the restaurant’s closing, news ADDC was disappointed to hear.
“I can say we are very sad to see a downtown merchant close and hope someone will be able to fill the space and make a go of it,” Almond said.
The restaurant’s lights have remained off and doors locked since Sunday, and its Facebook page, which it used frequently to notify customers of specials, has not been updated in recent days.
Just around the corner from Z Pi, Joe’s Do-nut Dinette remains under construction.
Owner Doug Laxton said the process is taking longer than anticipated because of new permitting standards.
“A pretty simple thing has turned into a total remodel,” Laxton said of the store.
Those that went to the Do-nut Dinette when it was owned by Joe Smith might not recognize the inside of the building, as Laxton said walls have been moved and other necessary parts replaced.
“We had to totally re-do plumbing and heating and air,” he said.
“Pretty much a complete remodel.”
Laxton said for those customers who may be tired of waiting for the shop to re-open, he anticipates the shop to be in operation sometime in the spring months.
He said the delays have been in the permitting process, with most of the issues coming from assuring that the building meets updated Americans with Disability Acts standards.
“Just be patient, when you’re dealing with a remodel, there’s never been one done that didn’t take longer and didn’t cost more,” he said.
“But we’re still on full steam ahead.”