Hector Fuentes, owner of Four Sons Pizzeria in Kensington, announced that he is moving his business from its location at 3145 Kensington Avenue.
In a Facebook posting today, he cited the dangerous environment on Kensington Avenue as the reason for making the move.
The posting read in part: “So after 50 years of serving the community in Kensington 4 Son’s Pizzeria is moving. We could no longer stay in a place where the drug dealers, drug addicts and prostitutes outnumber hard working citizens. The city thru it’s lack of services and inept leadership allowed this problem to get out of control. Business is great but allowing my family and coworkers as well as our loyal clientele to continue being in this dangerous environment is not only unjust but immoral of my part . To all our clients we will now be at 186 w Lehigh Ave starting August 1, we still will be offering the same great pizza and steaks that you have come to love and will continue delivering …”
Fuentes spoke at a protest rally held at Kensington and Allegheny Avenues which was organized by the Harrowgate Civic Association on July 8th. “I’m not coming to speak to you like some little angel,” he told the crowd. “I’ve been on both sides of the law.” Admitting that he’s done things that he regrets, he spoke passionately against the crime and drug abuse happening along Kensington Avenue, pointing at the District Attorney, saying “The problem is this gentleman right here, Mr. Krasner.”
Fuentes also blamed Mayor Jim Kenney and Councilmember Maria Quinones Sanchez for conditions in the neighborhood during the protest.
Councilmember Sanchez, angry at the Kenney Administration herself, released a ‘Restore Kensington Action Plan’ in early July. On Tuesday, July 28th, Sanchez released a statement about the Kenney Administration’s response to the ‘Restore Kensington Action Plan’, which in part says “I am very disappointed that the response to our very modest Restore Kensington Plan, where almost every item is contingent on new budget allocations. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and weeks of civil unrest, the City has stated its commitment to realigning budget priorities to address disparities and prioritize disadvantaged communities. That commitment is nowhere to be found in this response to the plan.”
The Councilmember continued:
“Kensington has endured a public health crisis and a pandemic for years, made worse as Philadelphia’s leadership refused to take responsibility and prioritize this community. To say after all this time that there is still no money for restorative investments in Kensington is insulting to the residents and community organizations who live and work in unimaginably difficult circumstances, doing critical work without receiving basic services, let alone sufficient support from the city.”
Fuentes acknowledged problems with staffing employees because of the dangerous environment on Kensington Avenue in his Facebook post. “We apologize in advance for the delays in delivering our food to you in the last weeks as it was hard to get good people to come and work here with all the crime and drug infestation.”