Local restaurants are struggling to compete with big chain restaurants at Park Place Mall.

They said why would we have you guys stay here if we can just have some chain or filler spot that would be willing to pay what we’re asking,” said Omar Solorzano, Owner of Salad Nation.

Slow foot traffic and cost of rent has taken a toll on the restaurant. Just two spots down is another local restaurant struggling to make ends meet.

I was behind on rent and paying my employees, paying my purveyors, getting everything else to where I can continue to operate and at the end of the day there was no money for rent,” said Patrick McColley, Owner of Squared Up Pizza.

The owners of both Salad Nation and Squared Up Pizza grew up in Tucson, coming to the exact mall they now operate in.

Growing up, all I really knew was the mall was always packed, there was lines,” said Solorzano.

The lines have turned into empty tables, leaving business owners to question if they made the right choice.

A lot of people don’t like going to the mall anymore. They’ve made it super conditioned and easy to order things online,” said McColley.

Things were looking up for the pizza shop who had Barstools Dave Portnoy come rate its pizza late last year.

Had I not gotten that review? I probably wouldn’t be here. I would have been one of the first ones out,” said McColley.

Salad Nation refuses to give up and hopes to have its rent lowered to combat the slow sales.

We’re going to put up the fight. We believe you should be the underdog and we’re not going to give forth to being the next statistic that this mall has,” said Solorzano.

Being bought out by chain restaurants is what they fear, but they understand it could soon be their reality if they dont stay busy.

Come into the mall and support us and help us get into our own brick and mortar. If we don’t get support here we’re not ever going to have a future,” said McColley.

Both Salad Nation and Squared Up Pizza say they realize people are not going to malls as often anymore and using more food delivery services instead.

KGUN9 has reached out to Park Place Mall management about what these businesses are claiming, but have yet to receive a response as of the morning of Friday, July 7. This article will be updated if or when management replies.