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By Elena Kadvany

Round Table Pizza bites the dust in downtown Palo Alto

Uploaded: Aug 23, 2019

A longtime Round Table Pizza outpost in downtown Palo Alto has closed for good.

The 263 University Ave. restaurant closed on Sunday, Aug. 19, according to an employee. The Round Table Pizza signage was quickly replaced by large "for lease" signs.

Darkened windows and for-rent signs at the former Round Table Pizza in downtown Palo Alto. Photo by Elena Kadvany.

An employee at Bayside Realty Partners -- which has listed the whole building for rent at a base rate of $18 to $36 per square foot per year, not including operating expenses like taxes, property insurance and maintenance -- declined to provide further information about the closure. It advertises the ground-level Round Table space as "perfect location for a boutique restaurant; plenty of foot traffic from high-income community and tourists."

Locals who had dined at the Round Table or worked there as teenagers lamented the loss of another longtime local business on Facebook group Our Town Palo Alto this week. A post publicizing the closure (including an intention to "organize a reunion of everyone who ever streaked through this Round Table back in the day and reenact as a group") has gathered more than 200 comments.

Joel Johnson called Round Table Pizza "one of the last bastions for blue collar lunch in downtown PA."

"I'm wondering if the future of Palo Alto will reflect an absence of small businesses such as cafes, pizza parlors, hardware stores, bakeries, ice cream shops and the like such that residents will need to drive to surrounding cities to buy gasoline, get a duplicate key made, get a pizza or an ice cream cone," Geoffrey Michael Kronick posted.

"Seems like the future is already here," Will Watchtel responded.

Round Table is now a franchised chain, but got its start locally. Bill Larson opened the first location in Menlo Park in 1959. Global Franchise Group, brand acquisition and management firm based in Georgia, acquired Round Table in 2017, according to the company's website. The management firm plans to open more than 20 Round Table locations this year.

For those who need their Round Table Pizza fix, head to locations close by in Midtown Palo Alto, Menlo Park (at the original location at 1225 El Camino Real), Mountain View and Los Altos.