PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Since opening in 1984, Hotlips Pizza has expanded to five locations throughout Portland. But on Monday, the local chain announced that it’d be closing down three of those five locations.

In a Facebook post, Hotlips Pizza shared that it’d be closing down its Killingsworth, Hollywood and Civic locations on March 27. According to the statement, the local chain has been an avid supporter of local food and farming businesses since its founding about 39 years ago.

“It is with a terribly heavy heart that we must close these beloved stores and have the first layoffs in our history,” owner Jeana Edelman said in a statement. “Each person is hardworking and has contributed mightily to the teams they have worked with, and to the longevity and health of our company. Many have been with us for years, decades even. I have sincere gratitude for the time they’ve given us, and deep sadness at this unfortunate turn.”

A Hot Lips Pizza car in Portland (KOIN, file)
A Hot Lips Pizza car in Portland (KOIN, file)

David Yudkin, who owns the pizza joint alongside wife Edelman, added that the two had given their all in the nearly four decades since they’d launched the business. He said he and his partner were able to sustain jobs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but the long-lasting economic effects continued to hinder Hotlips Pizza.

The local chain plans to stay open at the Southeast Hawthorne and Pearl District locations. Hotlips Pizza will also have a mobile pizza trailer available for special events, and its catering department will continue to accept orders.

In her statement, co-owner Edelman said that Monday was one of the darkest days in the pizza chain’s history, and asked Portlanders to extend their support to local businesses that all need patronage at this time.

Hotlips Pizza is one of many Portland restaurants that has cited economic stresses as its reason for closing down. The business follows Kornblatt’s Delicatessen, which announced its closure after 32 years of service last week.

“It is little comfort that we are not alone in these hardships; we are also not alone in the drastic changes that must be put into place in order to carry on,” Yudkin said. “We plan to move forward with a smaller crew, smaller footprint, fewer moving parts and realistic, attainable goals.”

Patrons can still order their handcrafted pizza, breadsticks, salads, fruit sodas and sweets at Hotlips Pizza’s remaining locations. You can find those at 2211 SE Hawthorne Blvd., and 721 NW 9th Ave.