Woke BLM-supporting Portland pizza chain closes most locations amid soaring crime

The company claimed the latest closures were also due to the pandemic, as well as "labor and economic stresses."

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
Woke pizza chain Hotlips is closing three of its five Portland stores. The company claimed the latest closures were also due to the pandemic, as well as "labor and economic stresses."

The family-owned business established in 1984 announced Monday that it had shuttered its Civic Stadium, Hollywood, and Killingsworth locations. Dozens of workers will be laid off. Crime has been an increasingly difficult factor for Portland businesses to overcome.

The brand’s central kitchen at Hawthorne headquarters and the Pearl location at Northwest 9th Avenue are still open. Hotlips closed its location near Portland State University in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Hotlips was known not just for its pizza, local ingredients and fruit sodas, but also for supporting radical causes. On social media platforms the chain called for supporting and donating to the Southern Poverty Law Center, BLM, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Oregon Justice Reform Center, a Portland based legal group that represents Antifa.

“It is with a terribly heavy heart that we must close these beloved stores and have the first layoffs in our history," owner Jeana Edelman said in a statement. "Each person is hardworking and has contributed mightily to the teams they have worked with, and to the longevity and health of our company. Many have been with us for years, decades even. I have sincere gratitude for the time they’ve given us, and deep sadness at this difficult turn. This is one of the darkest days in Hotlips’ history. Please, support the local businesses in your neighborhood and our city. Every single one needs your patronage.”

“We gave it our all, sustaining jobs through the entire pandemic by retooling to keep our staff and customers safe," said owner David Yudkin. "But the ongoing economic effects hurt us profoundly, as with so many other businesses. It is little comfort that we are not alone in these hardships; we are also not alone in the drastic changes that must be put into place in order to carry on. We plan to move forward with a smaller crew, smaller footprint, fewer moving parts and realistic, attainable goals.”

“We sincerely thank the friends, neighbors and vendors in each of these locations for their years of support and kindness,” Yudkin added. “It has been a huge honor to be part of the neighborhoods, the schools, the families, and the businesses around us. Please know HOTLIPS is still here! We are very much open, just consolidated, and ready to fulfill your pizza needs!”

Earlier this month, Cracker Barrel announced it was closing its only remaining Portland locations, following an announcement from Walmart that it was closing its Portland area locations due to a lack of profits. Many have speculated that the decisions were also based on rampant shoplifting.

Portland surpassed 2021’s record of 92 homicides in 2022, which shattered the city’s previous record of 70 homicides in 1987. Since the city defunded its police department in 2020, homicides and 911 response times have been spiking. Last week, the union representing Portland’s transit workers called out the far-left Multnomah County District Attorney for not prosecuting offenders after dozens of assaults on drivers.

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