Shakespeares Pizza one step closer to renovations

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COLUMBIA- Shakespeare's Pizza will find out if their new location is a go Monday night.

The Columbia City Council will be voting on a issue which could affect the demolition of the historic location and the building of a new apartment complex at the site on the corner of Ninth and Elm in downtown Columbia.

The city council will be voting for a six-month memorandum on demolishing structures on the National Register of Historic Places, which includes Shakespeare's. There is also an amendment that will exempt any buildings under 50 years in age and have demolition requests sent in before April 6th from this six-month demolition ban.

Shakespeare's also falls into the category, meaning the demolition of the current location will occur either if the amendment is approved or if the memorandum is not approved.
On April 1st Shakespeare's announced plans to renovate their current location. The famous restaurant, which in 2010 was named Good Morning America's "Best Bites Challenge: College Edition", will move into a location next door while the construction takes place.

If everything starts on time, the pizzeria will then move back to their location on Ninth and Elm in August 2016, taking residence on the first floor of a new apartment complex being built.

Shakespeare's manager Kurt Mirtsching said Shakespeare's wants the demolition of their current building to occur, and said the restaurant wants the memorandum to fail. Mirtsching said any delays to the construction could affect their business, as they want to be in their new building for the start of the 2016 football season.

However, Columbia residents have mixed feelings about the renovation of such an historic restaurant in downtown Columbia.

"It's got some significance with the city," said Riley Dean. "It's part of Columbian lifestyle and it's a big part of the community here."

Jordan Santo, a student at MU, says he doesn't think a new building would affect people coming to Shakespeare's.

"I think Shakespeare's being here is always going to be Shakespeare's in Columbia," Santo said. "I think if it's this iconic building or if it's a new building they're going to do what they can to make sure it stays that atmosphere, that energy."

The Columbia City Council will be meeting at 7 p.m. at City Hall.