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Radius Pizza's Owner Talks About His Decision to Close the Restaurant

The Mount Pleasant pizzeria's last pie will be cooked this weekend

Radius owner Matt Culbertson
Radius owner Matt Culbertson
Tierney Plumb
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Radius Pizza is shutting down due to a rent dispute between the owner and his landlord.

Known for its pizzas, pastas, and family-friendly appeal, the decade-old neighborhood staple at 3155 Mt. Pleasant Street will serve its last pizzas to the public tonight. The restaurant faced possible closure before, but owner Matt Culbertson and his wife revived the place in 2012.

According to Culbertson, his issue with the landlord stems from flooding damage that occurred in the restaurant's downstairs prep room, which would happen continually when it rained. He says he's had to throw away $2,000 worth of pizza boxes and goods as a result of the flooding.

So he stopped paying full rent a few months ago, and the eviction process related to back rent started this week. He can't afford a lawyer and has decided to leave the space instead. "It's hard enough to run a business in this neighborhood. It's so slow. If I keep losing money because of that it's pointless," he said. He also thinks his rent fees, at $55 per square feet, top most restaurants in the area, and has tired of the business's demanding hours. Eater reached out to the landlord JGJ Properties for any comment on the dispute.

So this month Culbertson is moving to the Czech Republic, where he plans to start a new food venture. Places with pre-made meals like Glen's Garden Market are less prevalent there, so he hopes to replicate American and Spanish cuisines. But he plans to stay away from pizza.

All the dough must go at Radius tonight, so the restaurant is running a half-off pizza special all night. Tomorrow, the restaurant will host a friends and family event before permanently closing.

Radius Pizza

3155 Mount Pleasant St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010 (202) 234-0202 Visit Website