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UPDATE: Why Did the City Close This Pizza Shop for Four Hours?

Building officials required Zappitelli’s on Madison to remove its dining room tables Friday morning. The business re-opened later in the day.

UPDATE: This post was updated at 5:50 p.m. to reflect that the pizza shop reopened its doors for business.

Employees from Zappitelli’s on Madison arrived to work Friday morning and found a padlock and a notice from the city forcing the business to close until it resolved building code violations. 

The pizza shop on Madison Avenue — that recently announced it was closing its doors by the end of the year — was required to remove the dining room tables. 

Per city code, the business does not have public restrooms, therefore it cannot allow dining room seating.

“We’re allowed to have tables, but not people dining in,” said Zappitelli's on Madison Avenue owner Adam Carroll. 

Once the tables were taken out, the business reopened at around 4:40 p.m.

“I’ve decided to turn the tables into artwork and sell them,” Carroll said.

Dru Siley, the city’s director of building and housing, said the business was given a notice that it would have to close until the tables were removed.

“This has been going on for year,” he said. “We’re willing to work them if they want to do what needs to be done and add restrooms.”

“We think Zappitelli’s is great,” Siley added. “We’ve been working hard to resolve this, unfortunately they’ve been unwilling to take any action.”

A court case is pending in Lakewood Municipal Court on the issue.

In August, Carroll announced that the business would close is doors by the end of the year, citing a general lack of parking in the area.

A dispute with the neighbors didn’t help the situation.

Sonny Yereb October 26, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Wow. You can tell who has pull in the city. Has the city looked at the complaining neighbors to see if they have any violations as well? His customers were receiving parking tickets because of the neighbors complaining. The city should not sell their permits if they are going to harass a business or the customers! I hope he move out of the city. He doesn't need this kind of welcoming by our city!
Sonny Yereb October 26, 2012 at 06:01 PM
LOL! John. You must be one of the friendly neighbors! A dump? I don't think so. And he was as friendly as can be. And the FOOD AND SERVICE WAS GREAT!
Sonny Yereb October 26, 2012 at 06:16 PM
So the customers NEVER received parking tickets because the neighbor call when the meters ran out?
Amanda Gunnels October 26, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I don't think Zapp's is a dump at all. The owner was very kind to me, and the food has always been delicious. If the city says this is code, this is what you MUST legitimately do, then yes-- they need to follow that. I am not sure what 'neighbors' are being referred to either? Business or residential? I have heard this very same complaint though-- that neighbors are being hard on them. Maybe some folks are worried because they won an award the first year they opened, as well? I hope not... competition is good when done right and respectfully. Madison needs the business. I will be sorry to see the relocation occur, personally.
Patch reader October 26, 2012 at 07:32 PM
I wish the city would pay as much attention to Calanni Auto Service as they have this particular business.....
Eric Swinderman October 26, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Zappitelli's was clearly not ready for business when they opened their doors. From the start, it's conceptually all wrong. Located in a tiny little shop that used to house another pizza joint there is very little room to move and there is absolutely no effort put into the decor. Yet despite this, they want to charge $15.95 for Chicken Parmigiana and $17.95 for Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo. These are prices you expect to pay at a more upscale restaurant, not in a lobby with 3 tables designed for customers to pick up their carryout orders. For that price I expect, at the very least, a tablecloth and napkins. As for the quality, I couldn't tell you. We could not get served. No one greeted us. We sat down at one of the 3 tables in the restaurant. There was only one other group and they seemed to consume the entire attention span of the one "waitress" who was also in charge of answering the phone, which never stopped ringing. We sat at our table for 10 minutes without so much as a hello as the "waitress" took 3 trips to bring out the other table's salads (and a separate trip to bring their dressing.) Again, not so much as a bit of eye contact from her. Then the phone began ringing. I could hear her conversations and they were all customers calling in to complain that their delivery orders were wrong. Never went back and will never return.
Maegan October 26, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Those of you who are complaining about Zappitelli's are crazy and out of your minds. It's a wonderful restaurant specializing in amazingly creative meals. You could literally order almost anything you wanted, whether it was on the menu or not. Adam is a great person and an incredibly talented chef. Everyone who worked there/works there is friendly and easy-going. It's a shame, especially in a place like Lakewood that values community (Zappittelli's always supported the community and was constantly doing fundraisers for organizations or people) and good food, that these people are being run out of town, out of jealousy it seems. There is really no dispute on the food part...try it yourself, you will be amazed. The prices are what they are because the serving sizes are HUGE. The chicken parm or fettuccini alfredo, for example, is easily 2-3 dinner portions! Stop defaming a business simply because it is successful and perhaps you are not. This kind of negative thinking only derails the community in the end. Furthermore, when you sign on and start slandering the company with lies and gross exaggerations, you really only make youself look immature. For any of you in doubt, go see for yourselves...don't let biased opinions think for you.
Joe Slops October 26, 2012 at 08:38 PM
There just seems to be a negative aura around that whole building. Nothing ever seems to succeed there. Everytime i walk by there everyone seems grumpy and edgy. Even the clothing store next door. Maybe the building is sitting on an old native american burial ground or something.
Steve October 26, 2012 at 09:35 PM
@John- not sure why the hate for a business here in Lakewood. You seem to have posted your negative views on every patch site you could, including the one about the dog that got killed, which has nothing to do about this. Shame, shame on you. Why don't you start your own blog on patch, and us all know the real reason you want them shuttered. I can't wait.
Carmen Bowen October 26, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Back to the beginning, Georgios on Detroit has tables, and no bathrooms how come they weren't closed down!
Greg Johnson October 26, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Georgio's is strictly a pick up pizza place when is the last time you saw anyone get seated in there establishment to dine in? They have seating so people can sit and wait for their order!
Ruth October 27, 2012 at 08:48 AM
If Lakewood has to enforce the law against having tables, so be it. But leave the negative remarks out of Zappitelli's. Lakewood seems unfriendly to this new business. The food is good there and they have a qualified chef preparing it. Thus the prices for it. They have always been friendly and efficient every time I go there. I don't have a desire to go to that clothing store but I don't make bad remarks about it. Let the ones who like it go there and the same for Zapps.
Edger October 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM
I don't get it, I ordered a pizza and had to use a restroom. I asked & they let me use there's in the back. No problem, good food. Friendly people. What's not to like? Parking is an issue all over Lakewood. Find a place to park, put in your quater & walk. Too many lazy people who want to park right by the front door. Love city life or move to the far suburbs or better yet, ride a bike.
Dennis Spirgen October 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Why should I have to order a portion that is actually two to three times what I want to eat? So many restaurants do this now. At least Olive Garden is honest when it pitches the idea of buying one meal for now and one for lunch tomorrow.
Sonny Yereb October 27, 2012 at 01:26 PM
@ John Nafal. Do us a favor and enroll in a writing class or a proof reading class. You need help. What is your background or former relationship with the restaurant? You have your nonsense points already and I think i get it? But to keep issuing the same nonsense over and over is like a lunatic would act. I don't know how long you have been associated with how Lakewood does business but theses actions are par for the course. I have witness it first hand. So go and relax. You need a break :-)
Rick Uldricks October 27, 2012 at 03:22 PM
It would be great if something creative and useful could be done with that property, the abandoned gas station, and the storage warehouse (for sale) next to it.
Jerry M. October 27, 2012 at 03:35 PM
It seems like everyone is missing the point.... To actually make this such a problem to where it had to be taken to court is pathetic. They knew they couldn't have people sit down and knew they didn't have efficient parking from the get go. It's their problem no one else's in my opinion the place really isn't worth the expenses, like Eric said $17.95 for Chicken Alfredo seems outrageous when I could go to Players down the street and sit down in a nice atmosphere for the same price. That being said I don't think this place really deserves to even be running with the rest the pizza places in Lakewood, and I also don't think it will effect anyone if it leaves the city, before they were here everybody seemed to manage anyways.
Eric Swinderman October 27, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Try reading and comprehending the article Carmen. It specifically says you can have tables but not for patrons to sit and eat. Georgio's has a place for you wait for your food to be ready TO GO. Hard to understand I know, but you'll get there.
Eric Swinderman October 27, 2012 at 04:47 PM
And their delivery service is just as bad. After the debacle that was our time inside the joint we decided to give them another try and order pizza fro delivery. I mean they did win some award for "Best Pizza" so why not give them a go, right? I ordered a large pizza, half pepperoni and half plain cheese. The girl on the phone told us it would be an hour wait for delivery. After ordering I realized I didn't have any cash so, knowing we had an hour, my wife ran up the street to the Giant Eagle (a 30 second car ride from my house) to get soda and cash. Fifteen minutes later the driver arrived with the pizza (45 minutes early.) My wife had not gotten back yet and the driver gave me a ton of attitude and went to wait in his car for my wife to return. I explained to him that we were told an hour so we thought we had plenty of time. Well I guess I ruined his night based on the level of anger he displayed. They have no idea how run a business.
John October 27, 2012 at 07:04 PM
You seem angry about this did you receive a parking ticket?
xv October 27, 2012 at 07:51 PM
John you have posted 22 negative slandering comments about Zap's under your john name alone! Perhaps you should take your obvious personal agenda elsewhere. Zap's has quality food and are really friendly people. It's a shame you are so angry and bitter.
Jim huetter October 27, 2012 at 11:20 PM
well i can count at least two other places in lakewood the might be considered take out only but i see customers eating in there all the time......the chinese restraunt at wyandotte and detroit and inlakewood city center.....i have even order at the one in lakewood city center and my meal there.....and both have been open for a few years....
Tom Champlain October 28, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Wow, so many obvious attempts to defame a great local business. Hopefully people can see the blatantly obvious attempts by a very small group to continuously post negative posts about zeppatellis. Fact Is they DID beat Angelo's (who i absolutly love) and dozens of other pizza local shops. Fact is when you talk to people that actually have ordered from them, the food is fantastic! Fact is I have ordered dozens of times and I am willing to wait for a grat fresh dough pizza. This is dominoes with pre- made dough and bagged and canned ingredients. Fact is that anyone who has ever had a pizza delivered by their employees know they are extremely polite and never close to being rude. That whole story reeks of an agenda! Fact is that I cannot believe someone who claims a pizza was delivered to their door 15 min. After ordering. So they took the order, put together the pizza with fresh dough, cooked it, and including travel time, had it at your door in 15 min? Hmmmm Like the kids say " ya, right" Makes me think that John and others with an agenda use multiple names to make multiple posts that blatantly slander a great family run business.
Tom Champlain October 28, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Sorry about the few typos, I really don't live on a keyboard like pitiful John who has to be on all day by the thousands of negative posts he leaves. I have a real life, job, I coach youth. I just have been seeing this trash for so long that I had to register and post. Re-read johns post, he say that free parking was taken away AFTER the owner and employees were given tickets for not paying the meters. Sounds like free parking was already taken away. Nafel never makes any sense. Zeppatellis has a bad neighbor but imagine how the poor family living next to Johnny boy feels!!! LOL
Gina J. October 29, 2012 at 10:55 AM
why didn't the city go in to Days Inn and make them change their disgusting carpets???? no they are too busy showing muscle to Zaps. Days Inn makes us look REALLY bad to outsiders a pizza joint with parking issues not so much.
Gabrielle McKernan October 30, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Hello, my name is Gabrielle McKernan - I am the owner of the business next door to Zappitelli's. I do not know why they are personally blaming MODA for their parking problems, or why anyone thinks that we have anything to do with the parking issues for the building. I can tell you that Zappitelli's had all their employees taking up all the metered parking all day, which was handled by city parking enforcement. We now do not have free 15 minute parking. My mother and I have put A LOT of time and money into our store and take A LOT of pride in our business. I am sick of being put in the middle of Zappitelli's own problems. I am trying to run my own business and do not want to be involved with Zappitelli's closing -- it has NOTHING to do with my mother, my business or myself. I would appreciate it if everyone stopped bringing "THE NEIGHBORS" (which is my store) into this situation. My business does everything by the books, I'd love for anyone to come see. I am not responsible for others actions, and for others not running their business properly. Thank you.
Gabrielle McKernan October 30, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Hello, my name is Gabrielle McKernan - I am the owner of the business next door to Zappitelli's. I do not know why they are personally blaming MODA for their parking problems, or why anyone thinks that we have anything to do with the parking issues for the building. I can tell you that Zappitelli's had all their employees taking up all the metered parking all day, which was handled by city parking enforcement. We now do not have free 15 minute parking. My mother and I have put A LOT of time and money into our store and take A LOT of pride in our business. I am sick of being put in the middle of Zappitelli's own problems. I am trying to run my own business and do not want to be involved with Zappitelli's closing -- it has NOTHING to do with my mother, my business or myself. I would appreciate it if everyone stopped bringing "THE NEIGHBORS" (which is my store) into this situation. My business does everything by the books, I'd love for anyone to come see. I am not responsible for others actions, and for others not running their business properly. Thank you.
Gabrielle McKernan October 30, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Hi Colin I am the owner of MODA, Zappitelli's neighbors. I would appreciate it if you did not include my business in articles about Zappitelli's. Even though you do not say MODA directly, it is assumed by everyone who reads these articles. My business has nothing to do with them not following city codes, or their customers receiving parking tickets. My customers have received tickets as well but you don't see articles about that. I do not want to be associated with their problems. I take a lot of pride in my business and I run my business by the books. People are saying bad things about the "neighbors" in these comments because these articles are saying we are the problem. WE ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. I have plenty of pictures showing their employees taking up the metered parking. Please feel free to ask for them. A dispute with my business has nothing to do with their business closing. Please do not say things that are not true. You do not know the whole story and I don't want to be associated with their business anymore. Thank you very much. Gabrielle McKernan
Richard Palin December 02, 2012 at 07:23 AM
At least the owner's mother offered to cook in the homes of people who had purchased gift certs and stuff. How may out of business owners would do that?...most would just refund the money.
Richard Palin December 02, 2012 at 08:02 AM
I have ordered food from Jibarros Truck a few times and the food is much nicer than Italian fare. I for one look forward to walking down to the corner shop instead of sprinting after a truck for a sandwich...and how many people can say they were served by Elvis? Not the real Elvis but the nicer looking one one who makes nicer food.

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