PITTSFIELD, Maine — With a change in ownership at Pittsfield Village Pizzeria have come changes in just about every aspect of the long-standing business.
A new menu, new recipes, breakfast on the weekends and a new focus on home-cooked food are some of the changes already in place just a couple of weeks after David Rickett and Tim McDonald reopened the restaurant after a one-week transition.
“When we came down to look at this place, we found that it’s perfect for what we wanted,” said Rickett, who serves as the head chef. McDonald won’t be as involved in day-to-day operations because he has another full-time job, said Rickett.
Plans are still in development, but Rickett said he hopes to bolster the restaurant’s identity as a pizzeria by promoting a sit-down dining experience. The restaurant is already serving breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and has instituted daily dinner specials ranging from shepherd’s pie to lasagna to beef stro-ganoff. The daily specials will be listed on a placard in front of the 117 Somerset Ave. location.
The rest of the menu is typical of many pizzerias, except perhaps for a range of specialty pizza varieties such as chicken cordon bleu and pesto manifesto.
Pittsfield Village Pizzeria was previously owned by George and Voula Maniatakos, who had been advertising the business for sale for many months. Rickett said he and McDonald closed the sale on Sept. 1 with money from their own savings accounts.
“We’re running debt-free, for now,” Rickett said. They closed the restaurant for a week to make some improvements to the interior and develop the new menu from scratch. So far, customers have been coming through the door “more than expected” and responses to the new pizza recipe have been “very positive,” said Rickett.
Rickett said he has been working in restaurants for 15 years, mostly as a chef. He was recently a co-owner of TD’s Pizzeria in Brewer, but he decided to strike out on his own after about a year doing that.
As for the future, Rickett said he has many expansion ideas, though he intends to pursue them only as he can afford them. For example, he hopes to add delivery service and expand his breakfast offerings to seven days a week. Further into the future, he hopes to expand the business to include similar locations in other Maine cit-ies and towns. Rickett, who recently moved to Detroit, has hired four part-time employees, a number he said could grow in the future.
“People have been very accepting and welcoming,” he said. “We’re excited to be here and we hope to remain