Bangor Sandwich Co., a new downtown Bangor eatery opening later this month, will serve up Detroit-style pizza — a crispy, chewy pan pizza that owners Kim and Mark Hopper started making at home a few years ago to universal acclaim from their family.
The Hoppers plan to serve the pizza alongside subs, paninis, salads and ice cream at their new quick-service restaurant, located at 25 Hammond St., the former location of Jersey Subs & Sweets, which closed its Bangor location earlier this year. Jersey Subs opened a new location on Center Street in Brewer last month, in addition to its Old Town location.
Detroit-style pizza is a regional specialty new to the Bangor region, though Micucci Grocery and Slab Sicilian Street Food of Portland have made Sicilian pizza, a similar type, for years. In a crowded pizza scene in Bangor, the style may help them stand out.
“It’s not quite like a Chicago-style pan pizza, because it’s not as dense,” Mark Hopper said. “It has a caramelized cheese crust around the edge, but in the middle it’s a focaccia-based dough, which is soft and airy. It’s all about the crust.”
Hopper is an avid home cook, and has experimented with many different kinds of pizza over the years. Years ago, he said he bought a pizza cookbook and tried Detroit-style pizza “because I haven’t had a lot of luck with the thin, New York-style pizza.” His family loved it, he said, and every Christmas they make four or five of them.
“Our kids are our biggest critics,” Kim Hopper said. “They’ll tell us exactly what they think.”
In addition to the pizza, the menu at Bangor Sandwich Co. will feature cold and hot subs, a few specialty sandwiches like a pastrami melt, an array of salads and homemade soups, and Shaker Pond ice cream.
The Hoppers have always thought about opening their own restaurant, but it wasn’t until Jersey Subs owner Jason Coleman approached them about buying his former Jersey Subs location from him that that became a possibility. Originally, the couple had planned to keep it as a Jersey Subs and then eventually turn it into their own thing, but when the pandemic struck, they opted to skip ahead and take over the location, and then fully rebrand and reopen.
“We took a little leap of faith,” said Kim Hopper, who previously worked for Fiberight before its Hampden plant abruptly shuttered in May. “You have to kind of make the best of the opportunity at hand.”
Bangor Sandwich Co. will open in the next two weeks, pending a few more license approvals from the city and state. For more information, like them on Facebook.