Make us your home page

Bankrupt Windy City Pizza leaves clients empty

CARROLLWOOD — In the windows decorated with the Chicago skyline at Windy City Pizza, all the neon lights advertising draft beer from around the world have dimmed.

The more than 20-year-old pizzeria closed its doors earlier this summer and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal court.

Known for its Chicago-style deep dish pizzas, Windy City Pizza Enterprises Inc. claims to have between $50,001 and $100,000 in debt to more than 30 creditors, according to its initial filing.

Creditors range from credit card companies and food suppliers, to advertisers and repair companies.

Neighbors said they never saw any signs of financial trouble.

"People loved that place," said Sam Stortz of Centerstage Dance Academy next door. "Even after they closed I had a little old couple come back once a week for three weeks trying to figure out where they'd gone."

Stortz said the loss also affected the kids at the academy because Windy City's prices for children's meals were more affordable than Chili's, the only restaurant left in the shopping center.

"It's a shame because the kids used to love their breadsticks," Stortz said.

Windy City was last in the news in 2000, when one of its delivery drivers was murdered in an ambush.

Then 23-year-old Eduardo Natal was delivering a pizza to a Carrollwood address when he was shot and killed by Earl "E.J." Hinson III, who then stole his car with a friend, Harold Wolf, and headed to the Loop Pizza Grill in an attempt to kill two others.

Owner Bill Henry and staffers started a memorial fund for the man's family in Brazil and sent the family a scrapbook about his life in America.

Stortz said the restaurant's closing was a surprise to other tenants.

"The day before he closed I asked him was he leaving and he said 'Nope. I'll be in tomorrow,' " she recalled.

Henry could not be reached for comment.

Robbyn Mitchell can be reached at (813) 269-5313 or

Bankrupt Windy City Pizza leaves clients empty 08/14/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2008 2:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street


    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24


    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters


    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights


    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.


    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]