A sign is posted inside the window of Toppers announcing the closing of its Cheyenne location on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in downtown Cheyenne. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – After a little more than two years in business, Toppers Pizza in downtown Cheyenne has closed unexpectedly.

A sign posted on the pizza restaurant’s door Tuesday read, “We regret to inform you that this location has closed.” No reason was given, and the doors were locked. A call to the store went unanswered.

The Cheyenne store has also been removed from the Toppers Pizza website’s list of locations. It had been taken off of Google, and its Facebook page was no longer listed, either.

A message sent to the Toppers corporate office went unreturned as of 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Vicki Dugger initially wasn’t aware of the closing when contacted Tuesday afternoon, but she later noted how sad she was to hear about it.

“We are always sad to hear when a business within the downtown district closes,” she said. “I’m not sure what happened with the Cheyenne storefront that’s part of a small national chain, but in looking at the list of their other locations, I’m wondering whether they’re choosing to focus more on college towns and students.

“We know downtown Cheyenne is low on food and drink establishments, and so we’ll hope to see another food-based business go into the Toppers location.”

Toppers is a Wisconsin-based chain that was started in Champaign, Illinois, in 1991.

The Cheyenne location opened in July 2017 and offered a variety of pizzas, toppings, sauces, wings and breadsticks. It boasted affordable prices and extended hours, staying open until 3:30 a.m. every day.

When the store opened two years ago, it had a staff of around two dozen people, all of whom were local. Most of the sales were intended to come from delivery or carryout purchases, as there was limited seating inside the location’s home in the Dinneen Building.

“We have a fun atmosphere, which makes it great for the work environment,” operating partner Kevin Whalen told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in 2017. “We play music, and we try to yell ‘Welcome to Toppers’ when anyone comes in.’”

The franchise that operated the Cheyenne store also had locations in Laramie, Loveland, Colorado, and two in Longmont, Colorado. As of Tuesday morning, only the Laramie location was still listed as operating on the Toppers website.

Ellen Fike is a freelance writer living in Cheyenne. She can be reached at elfylucille@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter at @EllenLFike.

Ellen Fike is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s features editor. She can be reached at efike@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3135. Follow her on Twitter @EllenLFike

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