ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The iconic pizza man that adorned Main Street In St. Clairsville for over 40 years has retired. Along with "Jack," the affectionate nickname of the quintessential pizza chef statue the owner Pat and Patty Halloran have retired as well closing their doors Dec. 31 after 51 years in business.

The building at 116 E Main St. and other neighboring uptown buildings were sold to the Goodman Group of St. Clairsville in late December. Emily Goodman-Shortall of the Goodman Group said the response for people interested in the former pizza shop was overwhelming. Interested parties included coffee shops, diners, bars and even some national franchise type restaurants.

As fate would have it, the location is set to remain a pizza shop. A long term lease has been executed with the owner of Pizza Express, an established business in the Ohio Valley with locations in Warwood and Bridgeport.

Pizza Express is set to open April 1.

 "We are excited to welcome this Pizza Express to St. Clairsville," said property owner Emily Shortall. "They certainly will have some big shoes to fill."