Pizzeria’s future uncertain

Miami’s Best Pizza, a landmark in the Coral Gables community, will soon no longer reside at its current location. Giancarlo Falconi // Staff Photographer

Miami’s Best Pizza co-owner Raymond Papich confirmed that the restaurant may remain open until December.

The local pizzeria originally announced that it will close in November when its landlord, Sager Management Corp., requested a higher rent.

Former University of Miami football player Big Al Papich founded the local pizzeria in 1970. Today, it is co-owned by Papich’s son, Raymond Papich, and Charles Butler.

“Probably until the end of 2014. There will be a period where we will have to go dark, because even if we find another place, we will have to wait until it gets ready,” co-owner Papich said.

Miami’s Best was originally the first Little Caesar’s in the southeastern United States. After a 20-year franchise contract, the owner broke away from the large chain to create an independent business.

Papich said that local businesses are at the mercy of their landlords unless they own the property. The owners are scouting for properties on U.S. 1, as they want to be close to current customers.

Sager Management Corp. was unavailable for comment.

“Even if we were to end on this note, we would say it was a success. It’s definitely bittersweet, but change is inevitable,” Papich said.

Miami’s Best is located at 1514 S. Dixie Hwy, Coral Gables, Fla.