A dispute over jurisdiction between two local government bodies has closed one of the two Pizza Hut restaurants that opened with great fanfare 10 days ago, a restaurant official said Friday.
"We apologize to our customers for the temporary closure by the Soviet authorities of our restaurant," said a sign posted on the door of the flagship Moscow Pizza Hut on Kutuzovsky Prospect about a mile from the Kremlin.Andrew Rafalat, the deputy general director of the joint venture running the Soviet Pizza Huts, said the restaurant was closed by officials from the Kievsky regional council in a jursidiction dispute with the Moscow city council.
Rafalat said he could not disclose the specific reason given for the shutdown, which was ordered with just an hour's notice Thursday. He said he hoped to reopen Tuesday next week.
"It's more of an internal issue on the Soviet side," Rafalat said. "It's a difference of jurisdiction that they are resolving. We are keeping the restaurant closed until they can get it straightened out."
There have been increasing numbers of disputes about jurisdiction over business in the Soviet Union as the country moves toward major economic reforms - from the Russian republic claiming the central government has no right to export raw materials from its territory to local issues including the Pizza Hut.
Since its grand opening Sept 12, the now-closed Pizza Hut has had three- to five-hour lines of Moscow residents waiting for tables.