JUST IN: Pizza shop that posted anti-Hillary sign to shut down

The Springboro pizza restaurant that triggered both a backlash and a wave of support last November after posting an anti-Hillary-Clinton message on its message board days before the presidential election will shut down effective Sunday, its owners announced on social media.

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Posting on the Active Springboro Community Facebook page, Austin Kaiser, who co-owns Campioni’s Pizza with his brother Brandon Kaiser, said:

“Unfortunately with our other three businesses (all located in Springboro), we do not have the time to commit full time to Campioni’s the way it needs … . Our last day will be Sunday, and we are actively talking to a couple businesses about coming into our building. …

“It is a sad day for everyone here, but it will open up opportunities for my brother and I to pursue our true passions. Thank you for your understanding.”

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The owners’ decision to post an anti-Hillary-Clinton sign in front of the business that read, “Save Small Business — Lock Her Up” prompted a call for a boycott of the business by the local Democratic party.

“Vote with your wallet, folks, and boycott this business in Springboro,” a post by the Warren County Democratic Party Facebook page urged its followers on Wednesday, Nov. 2 — six days before the election. Several of the page’s followers indicated they would indeed boycott the pizza place.

But Springboro is located in northern Warren County, which leans heavily Republican. Donald Trump captured nearly 67 percent of the popular vote in Warren County last November, to 29 percent for Hillary Clinton.

And Campioni’s owners said at the time that the threatened boycott ended up having the opposite effect.

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“The place was packed out last night,” Brandon Kaiser said a few days before the election. The pizzeria co-owner said he had gotten calls from as far away as Enon and Fairborn from people who told him they would drive to Springboro to eat at the restaurant so they could show their support.

This morning, April 28, the announcement of the pizza restaurant’s closing was being greeted with sadness and support on the Active Springboro Community Facebook page.

“Many great memories with family and friends,” one commenter wrote. “Sad to see it go, but if it can’t be as good as it was, then best of luck to you Austin!”

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