Breaking News
More () »

Old World Pizza in Inver Grove Heights closes suddenly

Old World Pizza, which began 50 years ago as the Pizza Factory in South St. Paul, suddenly closed Saturday.

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. — Old World Pizza, a well-known restaurant in Inver Grove Heights, closed after 50 years of serving the Twin Cities.

Officials with the popular pizza joint confirmed the closure on Facebook, saying that its doors closed suddenly Saturday.

"After 50 years of serving pizza to our community and many loyal customers we want to thank you for your patronage over the years," the post reads, in part. "We don't know what the future holds but have enjoyed serving you."

Dakota County Commissioner Joe Atkins shared a statement he received from Jeff Reed, who owns Cambridge Bank Professional — the bank that closed the doors Saturday.

What is next for Old World Pizza, which unexpectedly closed this weekend? I asked Jeff Reed, the contact for the bank...

Posted by Joe Atkins, County Commissioner on Sunday, March 12, 2023

"As you may know, the owner of (Old World Pizza) passed away two years ago," the statement reads. "The operating company that was hired by the estate to continue operations has not abided by the terms of the operating agreement and the Personal Representative of the Estate executed a deed in lieu of foreclosure--this deed was recorded last Friday in Dakota County after the bank paid the past due real estate taxes of a significant amount. The business liquor license had been revoked due to non-payment of real estate taxes. The business loan with the bank was in default, hence the voluntary surrender of assets.

"There has been substantial interest from potential buyers of the business and, in my opinion, a sale to a new owner should occur within the next 120 days."

Old World Pizza began 50 years ago in South St. Paul as the Pizza Factory.

Tuesday, several customers came by to find that the doors have been locked and plastered with an orange sign that had the contact details for a bank. 

"I'm disappointed," Terry Nelson said. "I hope they can reopen and work out, because it has been a really great place to come to."

Nelson said Old World Pizza was definitely loved.

"[I've been] coming here for many years now," he said. "I've always liked it-- their pizzas are phenomenal and their salad bar is exquisite. For me it's always been kind of a local favorite that we've always had here, it seems like I had never seen where the parking lot hasn't had a few cars here."

Atkins, while he is a Dakota County commissioner now, says he got interested in the news of the closure because he was the mayor of Inver Grove Heights for 10 years. 

"For many, it's kind of like a loss of a lifelong friend," Atkins said on Tuesday. "It's a 50-plus-year-old business, so many in our communities-- went on our first date there, and that was the hang out after the football game."

Atkins explained that while this has nothing to do with his work as county commissioner, he wants what's best for his former city.

"They have lots of new interest from potential new operators, and he already anticipates it to be back open in 120 days so there's that," Atkins said, referring to his conversation with Reed. "I don't know if it can be the old, Old World, that we've grown accustomed to, come to love, but we also don't want to see empty boarded up business either."

We reached out to the general manager of Old World Pizza, Jason Hines, who confirmed that the death of his business partner has led to complications when it came to footing the property tax bill. 

Hines said he is working to see if the bank would allow some kind of deal, but said if he ultimately has to leave the building, he hopes to open Old World Pizza somewhere else.


Download the free KARE 11+ app for Roku, Fire TV, and other smart TV platforms to watch more from KARE 11 anytime! The KARE 11+ app includes live streams of all of KARE 11's newscasts. You'll also find on-demand replays of newscasts; the latest from KARE 11 Investigates, Breaking the News and the Land of 10,000 Stories; exclusive programs like Verify and HeartThreads; and Minnesota sports talk from our partners at Locked On Minnesota. 


Watch more local news:

Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities in our YouTube playlist:

Before You Leave, Check This Out