Popular Merced pizza shop closes after nearly 60 years, marking the end of an era

After nearly six decades of serving pizza in Merced, Pizza Villa closed its doors for the last time, according to the eatery’s owners.

Word of the possible closure circulated on social media early this week, but the closure wasn’t confirmed until the owners placed a sign on the door Wednesday that read “We have closed for retirement.”

“It was a pleasure serving Merced County for the past 58 years,” the sign says. “Thank you for your patronage.”

There was no immediate word on how many employees may be out of a job. The owner, Andy Cuttone, could not be reached for comment.

Merced’s Economic Development Department said the city has not heard from the owner and doesn’t have records on the number of employees. Before moving to Loughborough Drive, the eatery had a location in the 1600 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way, according to city staffers.

The pizza shop had a rabid following, particularity among Merced natives. Many of them expressed their sadness on social media.

“There will never be another like it,” Merced resident Omar Gonzalez wrote on Facebook. “Thank you Andy for 58 years of excellence and serving generations of Merced residents.”

“Say it isn’t so... “ Lisa Umada wrote. “We have had our pre family reunion dinners and wedding meals at (P)izza Villa. Really sad day for our family, but happy for Andy and thank you for providing us with great memories.”

The sign goes on to say the restaurant’s equipment is for sale.

Related stories from Merced Sun-Star

Reporter Thaddeus Miller has covered cities in the central San Joaquin Valley since 2010, writing about everything from breaking news to government and police accountability. A native of Fresno, he joined The Fresno Bee in 2019 after time in Merced and Los Banos.