Tuscaloosa's Broadway Pizzeria announced Thursday that it would be closing its original location on Rice Mine road by the end of the year, after over 20 years in business.

Eric Wyatt, the owner of Broadway Pizzeria, took to Facebook Thursday afternoon to break the news. He explained the reason for the closing was that his lease was expiring, and the owners of the property have different plans with the space.

"We started Broadway 20 years ago with hopes of building a truly unique pizza place that Tuscaloosa could be proud of," Wyatt said. " The community responded with tremendous support from the first day we opened our doors."

Wyatt remarked that his mission with Broadway was to lean on authenticity, making dough from scratch and cooking exclusively in wood burning ovens.

He went on to praise his staff, thanking them for the countless hours they've dedicated to the restaurant. He said he considered them all like an extended family.

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"Family was always the heart and soul of Broadway Pizzeria," Wyatt said. "My mom's support has been unflagging from the very beginning. My dad was right by my side during the construction phases of the original and subsequent stores," Wyatt said. "My children grew up working at Broadway - Elisabeth and Rachel carrying food out and wiping tables from day one and Greyson and Jill following along in their footsteps as they became old enough to help out."

He also gave thanks to his kids' mother Diana for giving her all to the business, and his entire family's support of what he called "Dad's dream."

He concluded his acknowledgements by thanking his operating partner Meg Strickland for her role in opening the other locations, Broadway 43 and Broadway South, and for helping keep Broadway afloat during the challenges faced at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

"I'm eternally grateful to so many super-loyal customers. It's been an amazing thing to see the same people faithfully come to our humble little place day in, day out over the years, some bringing children that we've watched grow up and form a second generation of Broadway fans," Wyatt said.

He asked his patrons to visit the Rice Mine location as they complete their final two months of business. He said he'd love to see old friends and customers celebrate the pizzeria's life and revel in good memories.

"Thank you again for supporting our little pizza place through the years," he said. "It's been an incredible journey."

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