Bob Rizk, chef/owner of the Cobblestone Grille in Old Orchard Beach, stands in front of his restaurant’s new location in Scarborough. The new restaurant will be called Amore on the Marsh. Courtesy of Amore on the Marsh

A Greek chef who loves preparing Italian food is moving his Old Orchard Beach restaurant into the former Anjon’s Italian Restaurant on Route 1 in Scarborough.

Anjon’s, which served old-school Italian food in Maine for more than 60 years, closed in September. Bob Rizk, the owner of Cobblestone Grille in Old Orchard Beach, says he heard about the space from a customer who is the building’s new landlord. Rizk is leasing the building at 521 Route 1 with an option to buy, and hopes to open Jan. 17.

Rizk says he is keeping everything from Cobblestone Grille except the name, which will change to Amore on the Marsh. The menu and pricing will remain the same, he said. The biggest advantage to the move? Four to five times more seating. Cobblestone Grill had just 50 seats at its location on Heath Street in Old Orchard Beach, which meant customers often had to wait a half hour or so for a table, Rizk said.

“In the summertime,” he said, “people waited in the parking lot for hours.”

Amore on the Marsh customers will have access to 150 seats, along with a downstairs bar and lounge – the Cobblestone Grille served only beer and wine – as well as a function room for events and private parties.

Mussels and calamari prepared by chef Bob Rizk, owner of the new Amore on the Marsh in Scarborough. Courtesy of Amore on the Marsh

Rizk is Greek, but has cooked Italian food for 40 years. He started his career in seafood restaurants in Greece, then moved to England for three years. He came to the United States in 1996. He said he learned in England and the United States that Italian food was much more popular, especially in smaller cities, than Greek food. “All nationalities eat Italian,” he said, “but not everyone eats Greek. Italian is very well known and has been there forever.”

Rizk said he cooks everything himself, and every dish is made fresh to order. “I am the main man there doing everything,” he said. “I will never let anyone touch my sauce, my marinara – just me.”

The menu is heavy on Italian classics and seafood, such as chicken parmesan, with entrees ranging from $14.95 to $26.95. Rizk served pizza and calzones (made with homemade dough) in Old Orchard Beach, but in Scarborough he’ll have to wait until he can buy a gas pizza oven.

Amore on the Marsh will be open for dinner, from 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. In the spring, the restaurant will be open every day and offer lunch service, as well.

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