HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A pizza place in downtown Huntsville will close in a few days. Owners of Sam and Greg's Pizzeria will have to pack up and move when their lease runs out next week. But another local favorite, Big Ed's is nearly ready to open to customers in Five Points.
"Before we opened, I would sit out on the park benches and count cars. Kind of do the math, how much would they have to pay for us to make rent and utilities," owner Greg Hathorn said.
It's been 11 years since for Greg and Sam Hathorn at their namesake pizza place in downtown Huntsville.
"From five o'clock to ten o'clock, if we did 10 pizzas, we were just ecstatic," Greg said.
But after over a decade, Sam and Greg's has three days left to serve customers.
"We started our layoffs last week. Letting folks know we just could not keep them," Greg said.
The couple tried for a lease extension, but were given until the end of January. Hathorn says he's found a new home around the corner on South Side Square at a retiring law office.
"I hope we'll be open by October. I don't know how realistic that is, but that's what we're hoping," Sam said.
Darrell Denton knows full well moving a restaurant doesn't happen overnight.
"My Dad, when was alive, saw this place, liked it, but it was out of our price range," Denton said.
Though his father, isn't alive to see it, Denton and his family spent the last year moving Big Ed's from Memorial Parkway to the old Rockabilly's Smokehouse on Pratt Avenue.
"It's nice because we've kind of moved in and we have his spirit and blessing with us," Denton said.
They kept the original ovens from 1961, but Denton says the new space gives them a bigger kitchen, more dining space, and an outdoor patio.
"You have your customers across the street who call and say, 'I've seen you in there working, is my pizza ready yet?' No, we're not there yet'," Denton said.
Big Ed's passed a city inspection this week. They now need approval from the ABC board to sell beer. Denton says Big Ed's could be open by Valentine's Day.
Sam and Greg's last day will be Sunday. They're inviting people to what they're calling a 'Sam and Gregxit' party.