DaVinci’s Pizzeria shuttered under weight of $11,000 a month rent

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt January 9, 2018

DaVInci’s Pizzeria restaurant opened Saturday in downtown Decatur. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

The recent closure of DaVinci’s Pizzeria in Decatur sheds new light on the cost of doing business in the city.

The company chose to break the lease early, owner Jason Black said. The landlord, Selig Enterprises, is seeking around $50,000 in rent due. According to a dispossessory warrant filed by Selig in DeKalb County Magistrate Court, the monthly rent was $10,876.

Selig declined to comment.

Here’s a copy of the warrant obtained by Decaturish.

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Black does not dispute that the company owes the money and said Selig was taking partial payments before he ultimately decided to pull the plug on the Decatur location. The rent was a factor in his decision, he said.

The company has locations in Midtown Atlanta, Smyrna and Kennessaw.

“We don’t pay that [much rent] in Midtown,” Black said. “The most expensive rent we had was the location there.”

Black said the company had a rough start in Decatur. DaVinci’s opened its location in 2015 after months of renovations. The location was previously home to a Mellow Mushroom and Black thought the DaVinci’s could open quickly.

“We were expecting it to be a lipstick job,” Black said. “We thought in six weeks we’d be up and running, tops. It ended up being nine months.”

The company had to upgrade plumbing and grease traps, among other renovations. The length of time it took to reopen cost the company customers that had regularly patronized the location when it was a Mellow Mushroom, he said.

“What we thought was going to cost us $60,000 to $70,000 ended up costing us up to $400,000,” Black said. “We started off on the wrong foot.”

He said if the company had known how long it would take to open, he would not have signed the lease for the Decatur store. Black said he had no issues with Selig and said they’ve been gracious to him. The decision to leave was just business, he said.

“Our financial performance was such that it was a strain on the company,” he said. “Sometimes you have to take the arm to save the body.”

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About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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