From 12p-2pm on June 8th you can take a stand with thousands to ask the Regional Authority, City of Detroit and Cobo Hall not to toss out Simon’s Pizza, the American Dream…..
Below read Charlie Leduff’s from FOX 2 new story….
I went to Cobo Hall and got thrown out. All I wanted was a slice of pizza from Simon’s.
Turns out they’re being tossed after 30 years, and the big company that now runs things didn’t want us filming.
“They gave us 30 days to get everything out of our store and our crib area. 30 years and they gave us a day for each year that we’ve been here,” said Sandy Simon.
Sandy and Larry Simon stuck it out through thick and thin. They were there when Cobo was an empty cave, but who’s sticking by them now? No one.
They were told to get out by Tuesday.
“They told us that we don’t look Italian. Why are we selling pizza when we’re not Italian? And that’s when they took everything off our menu,” Sandy Simon said.
You can’t get any more Detroit than the Simons. Coleman Young gave them their first lease. The Little Rock Baptist Church gave them their first loan. They even have keys to the city.
“We feel that it’s because we’re a black owned business selling pizza that we’re being treated like this,” Sandy Simon told us.
The Centerplate company got the contract to run the food concessions last year and first they jacked up the rent.
“$9,000 a month,” said Sandy Simon.
Then they wouldn’t allow the Simons to sell slices at a pizza shop.
“Instead, you can only sell a toy, small pizza to a customer. It’s a joke,” said Larry Simon.
And still they want to stay.
Centerplate did not return my calls, but the Cobo Authority gave me the following statement: “We recognize and appreciate the history of Simon’s Pizza and thank them for their long commitment to Cobo Center.”
The statement went on to say: “The situation with Simon’s Pizza is a business matter between it and Centerplate.”
It seems like there is no room for the little guy in Detroit anymore, but shouldn’t there be?
“It goes back to big business, I guess, maybe, squeezing out small businesses,” Larry Simon said.
The Simons are asking the same question we’re all asking anymore. Who runs this country? The people or the corporations? I pondered that while sipping on a glass of Coca-Cola.
City council members say they will take a look at ways to keep this pizza shop where they say it belongs inside Cobo Hall.