Sexy Pizza has been serving slices in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood for 15 years. At the end of July, their store at 11th and Ogden will close.
Owners don't want to leave, but they weren't asked to stay. Their lease wasn't renewed after speaking up against what they call unwelcoming landscaping out front.
Large rocks now cover the area between the sidewalk and 11th near their entrance. It's a growing method to deter campsites and the homeless population throughout downtown.
"We pride ourselves on being an inclusive environment, not only for our team members, but our communities in general," says Kyle Peters, Co-Owner of Sexy Pizza. "It goes beyond supporting human rights. We support human beings."
Sexy Pizza says it's supported local communities for over a decade.
Peters and other co-owners at Sexy Pizza didn't ask for the rocks. He told CBS4's Tori Mason that some customers believed it was their idea. He said that couldn't be further from the truth.
"One of my business partners was homeless," said Peters. "Another huge issue has been accessibility, not only the bike rack but also for our customers getting in and out of their vehicles on the passenger side and for our delivery drivers."
Peters also says the large rocks are a sanitation issue, pointing out trash in the crevices. Sexy Pizza owners say they were never informed of the rocks being installed before they arrived.
Peters said they contacted their landlord, Katherine Diane MacRossie, about the issue. They were disappointed to receive a letter, saying their lease wouldn't be renewed.
"We even offered double the rent that we were currently paying so we could stay here in this location. We were told no," said Peters. He said he wanted to use a few months to look for another location nearby, assuring his employees would have a place to work.
In May, they learned they had 10 weeks to vacate the location.
"We've paid rent on time, every single month for almost 15 years. We put a new storefront in. We spent thousands of dollars keeping this place up and providing renovations. I feel like we've been great tenants over the years," said Peters.
Peters is still unsure why their lease wasn't renewed. His employees at this location are his greatest concern. The location will close at the end of July, but Cap Hill's Sexy Pizza will keep cooking in a ghost kitchen in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Peters says they're still looking for another location to lease Downtown.
CBS4 reached out to their landlord for comment and had not heard back at the time of publishing.
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