Since 2018, John and Dee Martin have been riding their bikes from home to stop by the one place in the Village they said caters to their low-carb dietary needs.
“We like eating here because we have a unique diet and they kind of cater to our diet and the drinks we can have,” Dee said.
On Tuesday, however, the restaurant chain Pita Pit announced it will be closing in the Village by 5 p.m. Friday in a Facebook post and a sign posted outside its doors.
But John and Dee might not have to be “shocked” or “depressed," now that the chain decided to keep its doors open for a while.
“We’re going to stay a little bit longer and just kind of go from there,” said owner Randy Martin about the future of the store.
After getting a call from the restaurant’s corporate office Tuesday afternoon, Randy said Pita Pit wanted to try and keep the location open.
In another Facebook post Wednesday, the restaurant announced due to the “overwhelming support from our community and for the interest of our employees we're going to work to stay open for most of the month of June as well.”
It also said, the corporate office agreed to provide the location with additional support to find an alternative to closing the location.
Being expensive over time, decreased overall profitability and sales being down, were the reasons Randy said he was initially considering closing down the location. He added that the ongoing construction on Martin Street and dining alternatives on Ball State’s campus were not helping business in the Village either.
“There’s more options on campus for people now than there used to be, he said. “It’s more convenient and we’re not seeing the foot traffic that we used to see down here.”
Randy, who lives in Indianapolis and has been the owner of the store for five of the ten years it has been in the Village, said being away from the location also weighs into the success of the restaurant.
For now, however, he still plans on being the owner while evaluating how to keep the business running in the future.
“We’ve just been extremely busy this week and realized how ingrained [Pita Pit] is in the Village and Ball State in general. We’ve been here for 10 years. Now, we’re probably going to search other alternatives.”
Apart from many reactions to the Facebook post, Ball State’s staff like Susan Alexander, Jennifer Wehrly and Kim Ring who were among several visiting the restaurant Thursday to show their support.
“We heard they were closing, so we wanted to support them because we love coming here,” Alexander said.
Ring said she hoped the place stays open moving forward.
“I think it’s a fresh alternative to maybe some of the other places around and it’s nice to be able to go a little bit off campus too,” she said.
Pita Pit's hours this week are till 5 p.m. and until 10 p.m. in the following the weeks.
Contact Rohith Rao with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @RaoReports.