PALM BAY, Fla. — Wagon Wheel Pizza on Palm Bay Road is shutting down Saturday after 40 years in business.

What You Need To Know

  • Wagon Wheel Pizza in Palm Bay is shutting down after 40 years in business

  • The owners say they are shutting down the business because they are retiring

  • They said staffing issues and rising costs did factor into their decision

Diane Rykowski says she teared up this week when she heard her favorite restaurant was closing.

“I’m happy for them that they get to go out and enjoy their retirement, but I’m sad for me because I love coming here and eating,” she said.

The Elwood family, who manage the restaurant, said tough economic times and staffing shortages played a big role in retiring.

On Friday, the line was out the door and all the tables filled as word spread of the closing. They even had to take the phone off the hook due to all the calls.

Keith Elwood said that after decades of 12-hour days, he’s ready to spend more time with family, including his grandkids. But he said the decision is bittersweet.

“I want to thank all the customers of Melbourne and Palm Bay, all the out-of-towners, snowbirds," he said. "We’ve appreciated their business."

Elwood’s father and uncle opened the pizza shop in 1984.

The other Wagon Wheel location in Melbourne opened in 1971 and will remain open.