Friday, March 1, 2013
End Of A Long Run On Wilson
It kind of breaks our hearts to run this: Alma Pita, a long-time Uptown stalwart, has closed its doors.
We knew something was up when readers told us that the counter inside had been demolished and black shades had been put in the windows. Now the butcher paper and the "Space Available" sign confirm its demise.
Alma Pita was always one of our favorite places. You'd run into a real cross-section of Uptown there, from Uptown United presidents to Peter Holsten to Truman College students. It was a place to bring vegetarian friends and visiting relatives, a place where Alma herself ran the kitchen, and potato chips were free with every sandwich. Where the signs on the wall read "Drugs, Racism, Outside Food. A few things we are STRONGLY against."
Of course, it wasn't easy. Alma once told us that every time there was a gang shooting on Wilson or Magnolia, it would take months for her customers to return and for business to go back to normal. There were a couple infuriating break-ins, where the cash register was destroyed and the front door smashed. It isn't easy being a small business owner when the criminals have such an adverse effect on how many people walk through your front door.
Things seemed to change about a year ago when new management, and presumably a new owner, took over the restaurant. Alma was rarely -- if ever -- seen after that. The menu changed and so did the preparation of the food. We heard from several readers who were disappointed with the new way of doing things, a real testament to Alma's hospitality and cooking skills.
From the phone number on the front door, it appears that the same realtor who's handling the listing for the strip mall across the street, at Magnolia and Wilson, is handling the rental of the restaurant.
We realize that all things are transitory. But it's a very sad day for those of us who really loved this place.