Friday, March 7, 2014
This former gas station at the corner of Cottage Road and Highland Avenue is the future home of Otto Pizza South Portland. Photo: South Portland Public Library
SoPo fans of Otto Pizza, rejoice: you no longer have to drive across the Casco Bay Bridge to get your fix. You do, however, have to be patient, because at the moment, the Otto people are busy building a new location in Lynnfield Mass. literally from the dirt floor up.
Last night, the South Portland City Council approved a wine and beer license for the new Otto. "They were unanimous and seemed very enthusiastic about it," said Otto spokesperson Eric Shepherd. "The company was always very keen on South Portland but it was always a matter of the right location." That location is a former service station at 150 Cottage Rd. next to Red's Dairy Freeze. This is an ideal spot, he said, because of the high visibility and "Otto has always relied on foot traffic."
Unlike the Lynnfield, Mass. Otto, the SoPo location is "not a difficult build-out for us ... equipment, tables, painting." As for decor, "The old gas station certainly lends itself to creativity," Shepherd said. The 1,000-plus square foot space will have 26 seats, a bar and counter; local delivery will also be offered.
Lynnfield, which has to be open by a set date in August, will be the sixth Otto Pizza, making South Portland the seventh. "We thought we were giving birth to one and instead we're having twins," said Shepherd. "We're pushing very, very hard to get (South Portland) open this summer."
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.