By Jessica Reynolds
Carmen’s Pizza , located near Loyola University Chicago was officially shut down by county officials Wednesday morning after the business failed to pay several months worth of rent.
The restaurant, located at 6568 N. Sheridan Rd. in Rogers Park, owes more than $62,000 in overdue rent to Loyola Property Management, the student-run real estate management firm that manages more than 25 retail and residential properties owned by the university.
Manak Chojar, president of Loyola Property Management, said that Jose Venzor, the owner of Carmen’s Pizza, has violated the terms of his lease for the past 13 months.
Carmen’s has been a mainstay for hungry Loyola students for almost 30 years. serving thin and deep-dish pizza. It’s first location in Evanston, opened in 1979, has also closed.
Two sergeants from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the Chicago property at 8 a.m. Wednesday to evict the business, but no one was inside, Chojar said.
Michael Brosko, associate director of Capital Planning for the university, said Loyola Property Management previously decreased Carmen’s rent by $1,000 per month, but the owner continued to rack up back payments.
Since mid-July, a hand-written sign was displayed on Carmen’s front door that read, “Closed due to oven problems,” but Chojar said the owner “knew this was coming.”
“He made no effort to contact us, and removed most of his items from within the store over the course of the last few weeks,” including ovens and a television, Chojar added.
According to Brosko, the vacated building is scheduled to be torn down and prepared for a future development site.
Carmen’s Pizza had another location in Evanston, but it closed in late March, according to DailyNorthwestern.com.
The owner of Carmen’s could not be immediately reached for comment.