Blast Furnace Pizza closed Dec. 5, 2018, with no warning to employees. It opened in downtown Middletown on Dec. 15, 2017. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Middletown pizza restaurant abruptly closes

Blast Furnace Pizza, whose name and decor paid tribute to the Middletown’s steel-making history, opened Dec. 15, 2017, offering pizza, salads and desserts.

It closed today with no warning to employees or building owner Larry Lewis, leaving numerous people “blown away and shocked,” according to Jeri Lewis, the building owner’s daughter-in-law.

“Nobody saw it coming,” Jeri Lewis said.

Numerous downtown businesses, including Gracie’sTriple Moon CoffeeGrandpa Joe’s Candy Shop and The Swire Inn have reached out, Lewis said, offering jobs to former Blast Furnace Pizza employees and providing ideas for what could replace the closed restaurant.

MORE: 7 restaurants that opened in Middletown in 2017

Brown’s Run Country Club & Event Center officials reached out to Lewis to ask how they could help non-profit Joseph’s Legacy, which had a fundraising event scheduled for Blast Furnace Pizza on Thursday, she said.

“I think that’s a beautiful thing,” she said. “The community is coming out of the woodwork. When things like this happen, it’s unfortunate and we either sink or swim, and Middletown will swim.”

There are already four potential businesses lined up to replace the pizza place, according to Lewis.

“It’s not going to stay empty very long,” she said.

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