Starting today, UT students and faculty will have to walk further than the Drag for an authentic slice of New York pizza.
On Sunday, owner and New York native Gene Meshbane closed Hot Slice, formerly Slices and Ices.
Today he will sign a settlement, handing the location over to two UT graduates who will build a yet-to-be-named, European-influenced fast food restaurant in its place.
“I’ve been telling my closest customers. I know their weekly cycles. What times they come in on what days. So, I’ve been letting them know,” Meshbane said, who has been making New York style pizza for 48 years.
Neighboring stores were unaware of the deal, however the possibility has been discussed in the past.
Meshbane said rent didn’t factor into the decision to close. He said he felt Hot Slice had a good run, and now he needs some time to look after his parents in Florida.
“[Hot Slice] is the least corporate job I’ve ever had. This place just has a certain homey feel to it,” said Gustavo Ganbon, a Hot Slice employee for six months.
Meshbane plans to open a new Italian restaurant this summer, possibly on South Congress Avenue.
“I have a passion for this. I was raised on this,” Meshbane said. “I love pizza, but I like New York pizza