Why the Flame Burned Out at The Roman Candle Pizzeria

A small however once-thriving Wisconsin pizza chain will shut its final remaining retailer on February 4—and its causes usually are not stunning.

The Roman Candle Pizzeria, which beforehand had a number of shops in Madison and Middleton, Wisconsin, hasn’t been in a position to sustain with staffing challenges and declining dine-in site visitors, in response to information studies.

“Sadly, it’s time for us to shut The Roman Candle in Middleton,” a January 15 Fb submit learn. “The choice to shut after years of serving our lovely group comes with a heavy coronary heart. We’ve loved being a superb neighbor to so many great individuals and companies over the previous 15 years.”

“Restaurant work just isn’t simple,” the submit continued. “It takes a load of dedication, an additional dose of thick pores and skin and a raging humorousness. Please preserve supporting your native eating places and companies—they want your patronage now greater than ever.”

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Two Roman Candle shops closed in late 2019—one in Madison and one in Middleton. In accordance with NBC15, the Williamson Road location in Madison additionally closed final Could attributable to lack of staffing, greater meals costs and fewer prospects.

His final retailer was nonetheless worthwhile, however proprietor Brewer Stouffer obtained a proposal on the constructing and noticed a possibility “to exit on our personal phrases,” he instructed the Wisconsin State Journal.

That publication notes that Stouffer had misplaced two key workers and was struggling to maintain the restaurant staffed. It additionally acknowledged that Stouffer “wasn’t eager about persevering with to rent individuals and persevering with to spend money on know-how.”

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Dine-in used to account for 80% of The Roman Candle’s enterprise, however eating habits have modified in recent times, with extra prospects choosing carryout and supply. “It actually simply wasn’t an ideal area for our idea because it continued to evolve,” Stouffer stated within the Wisconsin State Journal interview.

“It’s actually exhausting to make ends meet with a restaurant lately,” Stouffer added.

Stouffer opened the primary Roman Candle retailer on Williamson Road in Madison. A location in downtown Middleton was identified for a big “Love Your Neighbor” signal painted on the aspect of the constructing. Within the early months of the pandemic, The Roman Candle reportedly donated greater than $20,000 in meals to native first responders.

Chatting with VisitMiddleton.com in late November 2021, Stouffer expressed his satisfaction in The Roman Candle’s dough.

“We begin tomorrow’s dough yesterday,” he stated. “It takes two days to make a batch of dough. I consider firmly that any nice pizza has to have the precise crust. Ours, being an East Coast-style pizza, must have taste and texture that holds up for large slices, and ours does. Once you chunk into that crust and it has slightly toothiness like an al dente pasta and form of holds its form, however then it breaks aside and has a wealthy, nutty taste—that makes me actually completely happy. I by no means get bored with consuming our pizza, even 17 years later.”