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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Espresso Pizza closes its doors after 45 years of serving Medford

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Espresso Pizza on Boston Avenue is pictured on Sept. 29, 2019.

Espresso Pizza, the Boston Ave. restaurant popular among Tufts students, announced in a Dec. 21 Facebook post that it was permanently closing its doors after over 40 years in business.In an earlier post from Dec. 17, Patty More, the owner of Espresso,wrote that she was retiring.

“After 9 great but long and exhausting years, I will be retiring and Espresso pizza will be permanently closing,” Moore wrote in the post.

Mooretook over after her brother,Anthony Salvato, Jr., passed away in 2010. Espresso has been part of the Medford community since the 1970s, when Salvato first opened the pizzeria.

“When he passed away, I was determined to keep his legacy alive,” Moore added on Facebook.  

The Facebook post garnered a slew of comments from members of the Medford community.

“You have the best pizza I’ve ever had! You will be greatly missed, but wishing you the best in your retirement. We’ll have to come by for one last pizza before you close,” one commenter wrote.

Among the commenters were hausarbeit schreiben lassen students and Tufts alumni, who shared stories about working at the restaurant and eating pizza with friends.

“My Miller Hall neighbors and I ordered delivery nearly every weeknight (not joking!),” a loyal Tufts customer wrote.

Moore expressed her love for Medford and Tufts in an interview with the Daily, explaining that she employed a few Tufts students at Espresso during her 9 years running the restaurant.

I only had two or three [students] work for me," Moore said. "But they all offered to work for us when they found out we were closing because we couldn't get help.

Trouble staffing the restaurant factored into Moore's decision to close down after so many years.

“I couldn't get help. Anyone that came for a job… I paid by check and they needed cash, and I wasn't paying cash,” she said. 

COVID-19 had a significant impact on Espresso Pizza as a small business that relied on the patronage of Tufts students. Moore said that although delivery orders helped sustain the business, it suffered from a loss of customers when Tufts moved to online instruction in  spring 2020.

“We had some great, great customers, loyal customers," she said.

This loss of business has not been uncommon among Massachusetts small businesses during the pandemic.One study showed that small business revenue declined by 25% in the state between April 2020 and April 2021.

To help ease the workload on her staff and herself, Moore initially decided to close the restaurant on Mondays.

Even after decreasing Espresso's hours of operation, the shortage of employees, combined with stocking difficulties and a desire to spend time with her two grandchildren, ultimately led Moore to consider closing the restaurant.

“​​It was just getting harder and harder. And then I got an offer,” Moore said.

Moore said that although handing over her keys to Espresso was bittersweet, she is enjoying her time in retirement.

“I miss the customers, people I worked with and all the friendships I made, but I'm enjoying the time,” she said. 

Moore spent time with her family on Espresso Pizza’s last day open.

“I had a pizza party with all my nieces … and my kids came in and made pizzas on Sunday ... Sunday was Family Day,she said.  

Although Espresso is closing, there will be no shortage of pizza in the Medford area. Pini’s Pizzeria bought the storefront that Espresso previously inhabited and is in the process of moving in. 

Pini’s announced in a Jan. 10 Facebook post that the restaurant would be moving from its Somerville locationinto the storefront previously occupied by Espresso. In the same post, the restaurant shared that it was closed for renovations and planned to reopen in the next week. As of Jan. 19, Pini's has yet to open its Boston Ave location.Pini’s declined multiple requests for an interview with the Daily.

Moore reflected on how running Espresso Pizza helped her feel closer to her brother, Anthony, after his death.

"I think I made my brother proud," she said.