TAMPA (WFLA) — The popular pizza restaurant Mellow Mushroom in Tampa has been forced to close its doors permanently.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this, Mellow Mushroom in Tampa has served its last pizza,” a staff member posted on Facebook Tuesday morning. “We want to say thank you to the community, our staff and the many many people over the last 15 years who have made this place a family.”

The pizza place at 11955 Sheldon Road has been a staple in the Tampa Bay pizza scene since 2005.

A spokesperson for the Mellow Mushroom franchise told WFLA Wednesday that the decision to close the Tampa location was made months ago and had nothing to do with the coronavirus.

Mellow Mushroom provided the following statement:

“The franchisee at this  Mellow Mushroom location chose not to renew his franchise agreement.  The decision to close this location and the date to close were made months  and are not related to the situation with COVID-19. Home Grown Industries of Georgia doing business as Mellow Mushroom appreciates the enthusiasm of the guests in Tampa and encourages the Mellow community to visit our locations in Brandon, Clearwater and Wesley Chapel.  We look forward to continuing to grow the Mellow Mushroom brand in the Florida market and plan to open a new location in Ocala Florida later this year.

“We love you and are forever grateful,” the post concluded. “Stay Safe & Stay Mellow my friends.”

Mellow Mushroom’s headquarters is based in Atlanta, Georgia where it opened its first store in 1974.