By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – An old van that has come to symbolize The Lost Pizza Co. can stay in the restaurant’s North Gloster Street parking lot despite a warning by the city it’d have to go.
According to city code, businesses can’t display their logos or advertisements on non-working vehicles. But the pizza eatery and another restaurant, D’ Casa on South Gloster Street, had done just that.
After receiving a warning, D’Casa removed the magnetic logo on its stationary Volkswagon Beetle, which occupies a spot in the landscaping bed near the front door.
But Lost Pizza owner John Mark Elliott, who as of Monday hadn’t received his warning, worked out a compromise with the city upon learning the van was in violation.
“I’m going to use it for catering,” Elliott said, explaining that the 1966 Ford Falcon Econoline runs even though he hasn’t moved it since he purchased and put it in the parking lot more than six months ago.
The Lost Pizza Co., has three locations in Mississippi, and each one has an antique van either inside the restaurant itself or in the parking lot. Elliott said it’s part of the eatery’s identity.
No one from the city had informed him the van violated its code until he saw a story about it in the Daily Journal on Monday.
But the city recently boosted its code enforcement efforts and has cracked down hard on both residential and commercial infractions.
Code Enforcement Officer Sherrie Cochran said she’d planned to warn Lost Pizza of its violation last week but fell ill before mailing the notice.
“If you use it as a sign …, if it sits there, it’s in violation,” she said. “You’ve got to move it.”