Boothbay Harbor House of Pizza quietly opened at 11 a.m. Aug. 19. Relying on social media and word of mouth to get the news out, the restaurant was bustling when the Boothbay Register arrived. The newspaper agreed to wait on the story while the Rigas family business got back into the swing of things.
The long anticipated opening came after some devastating times, starting with a fire last October that shuttered the business. Then beloved owner Giannoula “Mama” Rigas fell into poor health while visiting family in Greece, and died months later surrounded by family and friends.
The story of the business in the Meadow Mall continued to wind until the day it reopened to the delightful surprise of the community, said Konstantina Rigas, daughter of owners Mama and Mark. “Trying to get everything open was insane.”
Rigas said there were many obstacles and mishaps in the months leading up to opening day and just when the crew thought opening was in sight, only half the freezer arrived.
“Then our pizza stones – only half of them came. It was little things one after the other trying to get everything open,” Rigas said. “But luckily everyone's been patient with us ...”
Rigas said the business had been packed all day, by customers missing the food, and by community members coming out to show their support for the Rigas and House of Pizza family.
Said Rigas,"It's been a year – a year to say the least ... Everything happened for whatever reasons it happened, but we had good people working with us, helping us trying to get everything situated. It's been a whirlwind ... and people have been so great. There have been lots of smiles and congratulations, so it's been really nice."