After 24 years of serving pizza in Ladera, Round Table restaurant in the Alpine Road shopping center could be closed as soon as this weekend.
In response, members of the Ladera community are rallying to keep it open. Portola Valley resident Trish McBride is helping coordinate a fundraising campaign for the restaurant.
The restaurant owner, Jim Meola, told the Almanac that longtime debts from his now-closed pizza place on Alameda de las Pulgas in West Menlo Park have him behind on his rent by about $4,500. The corporate owner of his building in Ladera, known as 3130 Alpine Road LLC, has threatened to close him out if he can't come up with the money, Mr. Meola said.
The restaurant serves about 2,000 customers a month, seats 40 and employs 18 people, Mr. Meola said.
Saving the business
As of Thursday morning, the campaign to keep the restaurant open reported have 50 donors, Ms. McBride said in a telephone interview.
The campaign reminded her of "It's a Wonderful Life," Ms. McBride said, referring to the popular 1946 movie in which a small-town community rallies to rescue a savings-and-loan bank.
"It's kind of like everybody's pitching in," she said. "In general, it's been a very positive thing."
An online forum has had comments suggesting that the pizza place be replaced by an upscale establishment such as a restaurant "with wine and all that fancy foodie stuff," Ms. McBride said. "I think we need to preserve this. We need somewhere that will serve our kids' community."
This Round Table tracks the order history of its phone-in customers, allowing them to call and order "the usual," she said.
Checks made out to Round Table Pizza can be taken to Nino Gaetano, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at 116 Portola Road at the corner of Alpine Road, Ms. McBride said.
Asked to comment, Mr. Gaetano, a third generation resident of Portola Valley, replied: "We're actually trying to keep Main Street going in Ladera. We just want to help (Mr. Meola) out. He's a vital member of our community."
The property management company, he added, "has been very gracious and really working hard to keep Round Table open."
For more information about the fundraising campaign, write to [email protected] to contact Portola Valley resident Trish McBride, who is helping to coordinate the campaign.