STILLWATER — The city's most famous pizza place won't be serving pies until Monday thanks to an outbreak of positive COVID-19 tests.
An announcement was posted on the restaurant's social media account on Wednesday, saying: "Unfortunately, we have been faced with the difficult decision to close our restaurant until Monday, January 10th. We have had multiple employees test positive for COVID-19 this week. Anytime an employee shows symptoms we ask them to remain home, however our staff have a lot of contact outside of work. So in the interest of being transparent, and bearing in mind the safety of our employees and guests, we cannot in good conscience remain open and risk further spreading COVID-19 in our restaurant or community. We appreciate your patience and understanding and hope for everyone to stay healthy and safe."
Folks who've been in Oklahoma less than 20 years might not realize the Hideaway in Stillwater is the original location and is owned independently from the statewide chain of the same name.
Founder Richard Dermer created Hideaway out of a would-be chain. Dermer, who was born and raised in Stillwater, was a senior in high school when Campus Hideaway opened in 1957 on 519 W Third St. He took his high school sweetheart, Marti, there on a date.
The next year, Dermer enrolled at Oklahoma State University, majoring in English, and got a job delivering pizzas there during his freshman year.
Three years later, Dermer bought the business on $10,000 credit at the age of 20. He repaid the debt within two years, and in 1963 dropped "Campus" from the name.
After that, Dermer and Marti married and co-owned and operated the restaurant until he died in 2014. Marti and the Dermer family own the original store today.
The Dermers had a fleet of Volkswagen Bugs delivering their pizzas in the 1960s and 70s before moving the business to its current Stillwater home at 230 S Knoblock St. in 1991.
Two years later, Dermer was approached by three former employees looking to open a Tulsa location. Dermer wasn't interested in franchising, but he did sell the rights to expand over to Bob Busby, Brent McMurry and Gary Gabrel, creator of the board game Pente.
Darren Lister and Brett Murphy bought the business from the trio in 2006 and have grown the Hideaway brand across Oklahoma and into Arkansas.
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Original Hideaway in Stillwater closed for COVID-19 through Monday