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Thread: Mr Pizza in Gorham is Closing

  1. #1
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    Mr Pizza in Gorham is Closing

    For long term visitors to the north country, I heard from a reliable source that Mr Pizza is closing down next week for good. The owners have actively been trying to sell for a couple of years and closed half the facility to dining a few years ago. Pure speculation, its packed pretty steady most of the year so I dont think it is a balance sheet issue but probably a burn out/health/retirement issue. (it was advertised in an ATV publication as a retirement issue previously). I do not know how the other places in town will pick up the business, but they will try. The building is in an active floodplain with almost yearly minor flooding of the parking lot which might preclude a conventional bank loan for someone to buy it.

    For those craving post hike pizza there is still the Gorham House of Pizza on Lancaster road, the Pub House (former wood fired Pizza place not far down the road) and of course Mary's in Cascade Flats, Gold House in Berlin, Sinibaldi's in Berlin. Noona's on Exchange Street for higher end Italian (pizza appetizer). None of these places sit a lot of people. My guess is if the new brew pub in town just dumbed down and expanded the menu a bit they could pack folks in.

    These locally owned restaurants are usually family operations where the owners work insane hours with minimal pay and the interest for that type of occupation is pretty minimal. Plenty of corporate restaurants down the road in Conway with more pay and less hours. This makes the 5th (or sixth) empty restaurant in town despite a major influx of ATV business. The motels are all booked steady so the guests are there and the number of places to eat in Berlin is dropping.

    BTW Libby's Bistro and Salt have no plans to reopen, Libby's does special functions including the RMC fundraiser but they do run Atlas provisions that has some locally made in their kitchen carryout meals.

  2. #2
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    Wow that is a bummer. That has been one of the more reliable places to be open when others aren't and put out reasonably good food at respectable prices. Never blown away by anything I got there but always had a solid meal. I love their little back deck on the river in the Summer. Hopefully somebody takes it over and keeps it going.

    Big Day Brewing has a pretty smallish menu of very pricey but very tasty food. Not sure they'll be filling the pizza void or reasonably priced meal void.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Thank you, that is a shame, but you can't blame the owners. I had been there several times including before a well-attended Moriah hike where John Burroughs was passing out CD's from his album. It's still in the 6-CD changer and gets played on the way to every NH or ADK hike.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sherby's Avatar
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    Mr Pizza played a big part in our initial hiking spree 2010~2012, the food was never great, but you could get there as a group late on a sat/sun evening after a big hike without any worry.

  5. #5
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    Jimmy and LouAnne are at that place in life where bodies have pitched a fit after 80 hours + a week for dozens of years. No business is worth death. Neither of them wants to walk away, but life's too short even without a restaurant to run.

    My husband and I were there today, both of them are hopeful that a negotiation in process will come to fruition. All the staff is remarkably upbeat. Not so much the regulars.
    It's a tough business, and Gorham is a tough market. When it comes down to health issues, AVH is not where you want to be when things start to go wrong.

    It is NOT a balance sheet issue. Staffing ( the reason they axed the other seating area) has been getting more difficult for way longer than COVID has been around.

    Keep good thoughts. It may have a different name, but the clientele will still be hungry even if the name becomes 160 Main.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breeze View Post
    It is NOT a balance sheet issue. Staffing ( the reason they axed the other seating area) has been getting more difficult for way longer than COVID has been around.
    Indeed. I was up on vacation a few weeks ago and was shocked at how many places were closed 2-4 days during the week not just in Gorham but Conway and Lincoln as well. And many of them are rock solid restaurants that are packed whenever they are open so it is not a money thing. The now hiring signs in the windows say it all. Most places are looking for pretty much every position that exists in their operation.

    Puts a real damper on a midweek vacation when your options are so limited. Not sure how that will affect things long term. Will people start looking to other areas and ultimately damage business? The days of businesses closing may not be over.

  7. #7
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    Not enough customers, so not enough revenue, so can't hire staff. Staff that is hired can't earn living wage. One of the problems with not being in a population center, and population centers compete for limited supply, driving up costs for goods. Lower population centers can't afford the increased costs. It's a vicious cycle.

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