Yarmouth’s quaint Main Street is poised to become ground zero for a pizza war. Otto Pizza will be one of three businesses sharing space in Andy’s Handy Store in Yarmouth when the building’s renovation is completed later this year.

The arrival of Otto Pizza will leave the town of 8,400 residents with four pizzerias within one mile of one another.

One of the restaurants, You Wanna Pizza Me, is located next door to the building that Otto Pizza will occupy. You Wanna Pizza Me owner and chef Ed Horvath said he’s angry that the owners of the abutting property plan to lease space to another pizza-maker.

“I really don’t think it’s right for them to put a pizza shop next to a pizza shop,” he said. “It’s one of the bigger guys trying to push a small one out. That’s not good for anybody.”

Horvath said he has no choice but to offer the same pizza varieties sold at Otto but at lower prices, a move that will cut into the bottom line of both restaurants.

The beneficiaries of the price war would be Yarmouth-area residents who love pizza.


Otto Pizza makes gourmet pizza with unusual toppings. One of its signature pizzas has mashed potatoes, bacon and scallions. The fast-growing pizza chain, which started in Portland just six years ago, now has nine restaurants in Maine and Massachusetts.

Andy’s Handy Store, at 367 Main St., has been a Yarmouth institution since 1938.

Sean Ireland, one of the store’s owners, declined to discuss details of the changes occurring at the store, known as “Handy Andy’s” by locals. He said the identities of two other business tenants moving into the building will be announced next week.

The new businesses will share space and “pay tribute” to the traditions of Andy’s Handy Store but at the same time bring the building up to date, said Eric Shepherd, director of marketing and communications for Otto Pizza.

“It will have the same sense of community,” he said.

Ireland said the business will continue to sell ice cream. By custom, the store opens its ice cream counter on the last day before April school vacation. On Thursday, Ireland brought in an ice cream truck for a one-day-only event to provide frozen treats to hundreds of children and their parents.


The store’s interior has been gutted as part of a major rehabilitation project that was approved by the Planning Board in February. More than 1,100 square feet of the building – the existing garage and ell at the rear – will be removed and replaced with a new “carriage house” that will serve as a dining space for food sold in the grocery portion of the building, according to documents the owners submitted to the town. The new building and entry porch will total 1,902 square feet. The outdoor patio will also be rebuilt.

An illustration of the project shows it will have a new sign that says “Handy Store,” with a large “H” protruding from the store.

Ireland and a group of investors recently purchased the building from Matt Williams, who bought the store in 2013.

Otto Pizza is owned by its founders, Mike Keon and Anthony Allen. It has five restaurants in Massachusetts: two in Boston and one Cambridge, Lynnfield and Newburyport. It has two restaurants in South Portland and two in Portland.

Pizza Today, a trade publication, last year ranked Otto Pizza as number 15 in its list of the top 100 independent pizzerias in the nation. The company last year had $10 million in gross sales.

The restaurant’s pizza is pricier than most. A 16-inch cheese pizza in Portland sells for $15.


Prices at its nearby competitors are lower: You Wanna Pizza Me sells a the same size pizza for $10.99; Pat’s Pizza, which is on Route 1, sells a 14-inch cheese pizza for $9.50; and Romeos, also on Route 1, sells a 14-inch cheese pizza for $10.99.

Shepherd said moving to Yarmouth makes sense for Otto because the town is far enough away from Portland that the new restaurant won’t compete with the company’s existing restaurants.

“It’s a beautiful town,” he said. “We are excited to be there. It feels very natural.”

Otto Pizza has about 300 employees. You Wanna Pizza Me has five employees, including Horvath, the owner and only chef. The owners of the Pat’s and Romeos pizzerias could not be reached for comment Friday.

In the bigger world of retail, competitors that locate near one another sometimes are able to attract more customers than if they were isolated. That’s why car dealerships often locate their businesses near other car dealerships.

Could the same be true for pizzerias?

“That’s what we can hope for,” Horvath said.


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