Damgoode Pies closes Fayetteville location

Staff photo

The last remaining Damgoode Pies location in the world has closed its doors.

The marquee outside the Fayetteville Damgoode location was changed to read “RIP Damgoode Pies – Thank you pie eaters” this week, and owner Bill Karsten confirmed to the Flyer that the restaurant has permanently closed.

The future for the restaurant had been a bit uncertain after founder Jeff Trine announced the closure of his original restaurant in the Hillcrest neighborhood in Little Rock at 2701 Kavanaugh Blvd. last October. Not long after that, Trine posted a video online to let customers know he would also close his other Little Rock location at 6706 Cantrell Road about a month later. The last Damgoode Pies in Little Rock closed on Nov. 22.

That left the Fayetteville location, a franchise owned by Bill Karsten and his family at 37 E. Center St., as the sole remaining store for the restaurant.

Karsten told us over the winter that he didn’t plan to renew his lease for the restaurant on the square, but he was hoping to find a new location for the restaurant in an effort to keep it running even after he had outlived his franchisor.

Things have just not worked out the way he’d hoped since then, he told us.

Karsten said the Covid-19 pandemic, which Trine also cited as a major contributor to the closure of the Little Rock locations, caused a significant drop in sales for the restaurant in 2020, and those sales have never recovered.

Damgoode originally opened in Little Rock in 2001, and became a fast hit in Central Arkansas for its “stuffy” pizzas with double-stuffed crust, it’s “pink sauce” with a hint of spice created by mixing its spicy white sauce and marinara, and it’s witty menu, signs, and social media posts.

The restaurant expanded to Fayetteville in the summer of 2009, with franchisee Brendon Maxwell opening in the space formerly home to Hoffbrau just off the downtown square. Karsten purchased the Fayetteville franchise in 2015.