Comic-Con, in its eighth year, hosts 4,000 attendees at the El Cortez Hotel. A San Diego Superior Court judge orders the desegregation of San Diego's public schools. The Padres, who were still playing at "San Diego Stadium," finish fifth in the National League West -- ok, maybe one that doesn't feel quite so dated.
Some county residents argue that San Diego doesn't have a lot of history, but that's just not the case. Also in 1977, Carlsbad's long-cherished That Pizza Place opens its doors on El Camino Real for the first time. In many ways, it grew up with the county, it's walls covered a little more every year with photos of loved ones and loyal locals.
Since then, the eatery served thousands of North County's hungriest, treating diners to thin- and thick-crusted pies, calzones and, of course, pitchers and pitchers of ice-cold beer. Keeping with the times, gluten-free crusts and craft brews like Culver Mexican lager and Belching Beavers Phantom Bride IPA made their way onto the menu more recently. As much as the restaurant was family operated, it was family focused, a place where memories were made.
Sadly, the pizza oven had gone cold. After 43 years, That Pizza Place announced this week that, along with many other small businesses across America, it, too, was a victim of the coronavirus and was unable to recover from the effects of the epidemic and the accompanying social-distancing orders that were put in place in March.
Like many restaurants, That Pizza Place served takeout during the first few months of the pandemic, and, after the state and county permitted gradual reopening, on May 31 it began welcoming back dine-in customers. The business, however, simply was unable to fully recover
"Attention, all of our valued customers: As some of you may have heard, we are indeed permanently closing our doors," That Pizza Place posted on its Facebook Tuesday. "We are heartbroken to make this announcement, but there is no other option for us. The situation we all find ourselves in has created an environment under which we were unable to prosper. Despite all this, we would like to thank everyone who supported us over the last 43 years with your loyal patronage. We will never forget the amazing memories we made together, and we hope that you will not forget us. Thank you, for the last time."
Soon after Tuesday's announcement was posted, messages of farewell started to flood That Pizza Place's Facebook page; in all, more than 700 people have commented on the post already.
"We had the best times here!," posted Ashley Moody Hamiter.
"I will miss it, even the tables were cool -- everyone sat on these long tables and parties would overlap," added Scott Cabral. "You would meet new people there. Very sad -- like losing a piece of history!"
It's possible that Facebook commenter Anthony Sullivan said goodbye the best:
"My heart is broken. So many amazing memories and incredible people! From cardboard sliding and shopping cart races after EVERY youth sporting event, to my first real job -- I am going to miss this Carlsbad staple."