Tommy’s Pizza has been one of my favorites since they had a location on 5th Ave. Well, the local pizza restaurant is closing its doors for good, after one of its employees was shot during a robbery.
It’s been a staple in East Columbus for decades, and still has the old, vintage sign out front. But, now there’s another sign on the door of Tommy’s Pizza saying the restaurant is closed. Manager Raine Neenan has been with Tommy’s for 20 years, and has worked at the Hamilton Road location for seven. “Emotionally, it was really hard for me. I grew up on the east side. I love the east side. I put a lot of sweat, blood and tears into this place,” Neenan said.
Neenan says they’re closing after someone came in last month and shot one of their workers twice during a robbery. “Our employees need to be safe. The community needs to be safe. When you have someone coming up with a gun, we don’t want to have to fear for our lives coming to work and making pizza,” Neenan said.
Eleven employees are transferring to other locations, or looking for work elsewhere. Neenan says it was a tough call. “It’s very difficult. Heart wrenching. It took a few days to talk about it and definitely was the owner’s decision and it’s very hard on him. You know, he’s carrying on his father’s legacy,” Neenan said.
Tommy’s has three other locations in Columbus, and Neenan encourages their loyal east side customers to visit those restaurants for the same taste they’ve enjoyed for years. The employee who was shot was taken to Grant Medical Center, had surgery, and is now recovering. Columbus police are investigating the case. No arrests have been made.