Special Guest Editorial
Dennis and Steve from Humpys Pizza thank the community of Wilton Manors
At this point it is no secret in the community that Humpys Pizza has closed. The primary reason is the landlord of the Shoppes of Wilton Manors was incredibly unreasonable. When we started the lease renewal process, we were shocked they wanted to raise the rent again with over 25% of the shopping center empty. They intended to raise the rent exponentially every year for the next 5-10 years as well as added new requirements. Additionally in the middle of the negotiations, we were served with a scam American Disabilities Act “ADA” lawsuit. An unscrupulous law firm saw Humpys as a successful business and hired a “tester” to find ADA violations which cited our bathroom towel dispensers were a few inches too high. Regardless of the fact that we adjusted the fixtures the very next day, they demanded cash to settle or face expensive court costs. So in effect we have not closed our business, but have been put out of business from a landlord and lawyers who care more about making more money than the “community”.
We would like our friends and customers to know a few things. While we are sad for ourselves because we are losing a business that we cherished, we’re sad for our customers who loved coming to us for what we offered. We’re sad that we will no longer be able to contribute as a business to all the organizations and charities we sponsored including Poverello, Kids in Distress, Pride Center, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Care Resources, Shockwave and other softball teams, SMARTride, AIDSWALK, Pet Project, Dolphin Democrats, Women In Network and Bears Of South Florida just to name a few. We’re sad we will no longer walk into our restaurant mid-afternoon to see high school students who would come to Humpys after school to hang out with their friends and have a “safe place” to be who they are. We’ll miss seeing members of SunServe and the trans community who would gather for lunch in a place where they are comfortable to be themselves in a welcoming environment. We’re glad we had the opportunity to employ people who needed a job and a second chance in turning their lives around.
It’s funny that when we look back we don’t remember the food so much, we remember the people. We hope in some way we made each life we touched better. We’d like to give a special thanks to our Manager, Brad Schlichting who helped us open and is now making our famous cupcakes at Java Boys. Without Brad, Humpys cupcakes would not have happened. Thank you to Jim DeFrank, our silent partner who, like us, shared a vision on something great that this town needed and supported us every step of the way. And, lastly, thank you Wilton Manors for accepting two guys who didn’t know a damn thing about the restaurant business and came to town with a few dollars and a dream that we believe managed to pull off something good.
Dennis & Steve