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Massimo’s Pizza Bar in downtown Bangor closing; new restaurant to open next month

Anne Marie and Massimo Ranni, March 2016. BDN photo by Gabor Degre.

Anne Marie and Massimo Ranni, March 2016. BDN photo by Gabor Degre.

The owners of Massimo’s Pizza Bar, the wood-fired pizza and pasta restaurant located at 96 Hammond St. in downtown Bangor, announced on Monday that effective immediately the restaurant is closed, and that they would be selling their business to local restaurateur Bob Cutler. Cutler plans to open a new eatery in that location later this year.

Massimo and Anne Marie Ranni operated Massimo’s Cucina Italiana from 2007 until January of this year, when they closed their upscale Italian eatery and opened the more casual Pizza Bar just a few doors up the street. Massimo Ranni will still operate his Italian bakery on Stevens Road in Brewer, where he bakes bread, foccacia and other treats, sold at area stores, markets and restaurants. Ranni also plans to open a retail storefront at the bakery.

“The decision to sell the restaurant was one we had been considering for some time, and when Bob came to us, we felt it was the perfect fit,” said Ranni, in a press release. “The sale will allow us to focus on the bakery and continue to do what we love.”

Bob Cutler, owner of recently expanded The Family Dog restaurant in Orono, and the Grammie’s Grilled Cheese and Stray Dog food trucks, will begin work immediately on remodeling 96 Hammond St., with plans to open a new restaurant called Novio’s.

Cutler said Novio’s will be modeled as an Italian-inspired bistro, open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

“The menu will have an Italian influence, but our team will have a lot of creative freedom to offer new and delicious items that will be inspired by their experiences, travel and culinary training,” said Cutler, in that same press release.

“The city staff and city council are excited for Bob to expand his business into Bangor. We’ve been working with him and the food trucks over the past couple of years, and we’re looking forward to the new concept for Novio’s. This will offer another great spot for Bangor’s citizens and workforce to eat and gather,” said Tanya Emery, Bangor’s economic development director, in a statement.

Novio’s is expected to open in late November. The sale will become final on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

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