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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Dough Religion, ooZoo bar to close after a year of business

<p>Destinee Collins, a 25-year-old drummer for the cover band timesUp and a worker at Dough Religion Pizza, jams out to cover songs like “Brick House” on Jan. 6, 2016 at the Oozoo Bar.</p>

Destinee Collins, a 25-year-old drummer for the cover band timesUp and a worker at Dough Religion Pizza, jams out to cover songs like “Brick House” on Jan. 6, 2016 at the Oozoo Bar.

Following the sale of their building, Dough Religion restaurant and ooZoo bar will close this week.

The custom-pizza restaurant and bar’s last day will be when all remaining inventory has run out — probably Tuesday or Wednesday — after being open just over one year, said manager David Scott.

Although the business, located across from UF campus at 1404 W. University Ave, was not going through financial hardship, the owners felt it wasn’t meeting expectations and informed employees Friday that they sold the building, the 31-year-old said.

“Businesses will make their decisions for what they feel is best for the future, and it’s not always easy for everybody involved,” Scott said. “The ownership group decided to sell the building as a business decision, and as a result of that we are not going to continue.”

Since opening in October 2015, Scott said the business has received a tremendous amount of support, and he’s extremely disappointed they won’t be a part of Midtown’s ongoing expansion.

“We were definitely on an upward trajectory, and in that sense it’s a bit frustrating to not see this thing through,” he said.

After hearing raving reviews from friends, James DiMarco finally got the chance to try Dough Religion’s pizza Sunday. It will likely be the first and last time the UF aerospace engineering freshman visits the restaurant.

“I’ve heard nothing but good things,” DiMarco, 19, said. “It’s a little surprising, I guess, because I know Burrito Brothers just closed the other day, too.”

If community members are upset about the closure, the best thing they can do is continue to support local businesses, Scott said.

Ade Goode, a Dough Religion employee, was shocked when he found out that he would soon be out of a job.

Although Goode has made hundreds of unique, specialty pizzas for students and community members in the past year, he said the most popular pie is the Kumoniwannalaya: pizza with red sauce, shredded mozzarella, bacon, ham and red onion with a hot, honey garlic drizzle.

Goode says after the restaurant closes, he doesn’t know what he’ll do.

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“I was really surprised,” Goode said. “Sometimes you don’t really think about it until stuff like this happens.”

Contact Molly Vossler at mvossler@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter at @molly_vossler 

Destinee Collins, a 25-year-old drummer for the cover band timesUp and a worker at Dough Religion Pizza, jams out to cover songs like “Brick House” on Jan. 6, 2016 at the Oozoo Bar.

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