This 2016 photo shows in the inside of Bill’s Pizza on Commercial Street in Portland. The slice shop was a popular spot for the Old Port bar crowd before the pandemic. John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Late-night Old Port revelers – what’s left of them – will have to go elsewhere to satisfy their after-midnight pizza cravings. Bill’s Pizza is closing.

But doughnut fans can rejoice – The Holy Donut announced that it will return to the Old Port this summer in the former pizza restaurant’s space at 177 Commercial St.

The owners of Bill’s Pizza announced on social media that its last day in business will be Sunday. The Old Orchard Beach location remains open.

Monday night, The Holy Donut announced that it will move in.

Bill’s Pizza, known for its 17-inch jumbo pies, has long been a favorite of tourists and locals alike. It’s also been a popular late-night stop for bar patrons in the Old Port looking to soak up the night’s beer with carbs in the form of a slice or two. For years, it was one of the only late-night spots in town to grab a bite, staying open until 2 a.m. In addition to pizza, the menu includes fries, chicken fingers and chili.

Bill’s closed when the pandemic hit Maine in March, then reopened for weekend-only takeout and curbside pick-up in early May, closing at 6 p.m. By July, it was staying open until 2 a.m. again on weekends. Bill’s went back to a 9 p.m. closing time in November, Thursdays through Sundays, then extended hours again in early February, when it announced it would remain open until 1:30 a.m.

In October, The Holy Donut – with its own legions of fans of its potato-based donuts – said it was pulling out of its spot on Exchange Street in Old Port due to the pandemic’s impact on business downtown. It also has locations on Park Avenue, the original spot, and in Scarborough and Auburn that remain open.

When the seven-year-old Old Port store closed, CEO Jeff Buckwalter said he hoped The Holy Donut could return to the Old Port under the right conditions. He said the Bill’s Pizza spot meets those conditions, with more interior space and on-street parking.

Buckwalter said details on when Holy Donut will open in the new location will come soon.

 

A slice of veggie pizza from Bill’s Pizza in the Old Port. John Ewing/Staff Photographer


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