After 25 years, South Portland House of Pizza to move down the hill

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The South Portland House of Pizza, a neighborhood fixture on Meetinghouse Hill for a quarter century, is moving to Mill Creek.

“It’s the next chapter of life, so to speak,” owner Eric Bruneau said last weekend. “I didn’t think it would happen, being open for 25 years, but we hope to make the move to the new location and be there for 25 more. There’s always opportunity with change.”

The business is moving because neighbor Cumberland Farms, which owns the 433 Cottage Road building, plans to expand.

Bruneau, of South Portland, has owned the business since 1993. His three children have all grown up working in the restaurant, and he said the family atmosphere in the neighborhood is what he most enjoys – seeing children grow up and have their own families.

“I love this community, and watching families grow, ” Bruneau said.

The restaurant is moving to a vacant storefront next to Anytime Fitness in the Shaw’s Mill Creek Plaza. The last day pizza, calzones, grinders, burgers and pasta will be served on Cottage Road is June 22.

Bruneau said he hopes to retain the energy of the business and transfer it to the  new space at 180 Waterman Drive, but added he is looking forward to making new relationships and getting to know a new customer base.

Bruneau said the House of Pizza will offer the same menu, with some potential additions after he settles in, including beer and wine. The business employs 10 people, and will expand to 15 during the summer.

“I’m going to miss the neighborhood,” he said of Meetinghouse Hill, adding he feels fortunate to have had loyal customers. “I have people that come in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly,” he said.

Bruneau got his start working at Cape Shore Variety as a freshman in high school.

There, under the guidance of owners Peter and Mary Kelly, he learned he had a passion for food and service, he said.

“I sold everything from lobsters to Italian sandwiches,” he said of his introduction to the service industry. “This is my niche and what I love. I love the interaction, and the ability to work with great people.”

Juliette Laaka can be reached at 781.3661 ext. 106 or at jlaaka@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @JulietteLaaka.

Owner Eric Bruneau outside the South Portland House of Pizza on Cottage Road. The longtime Meetinghouse Hill restaurant is moving next month to the Shaw’s Mill Creek Plaza on Waterman Drive.

South Portland House of Pizza is moving from Cottage Road to this vacant storefront in the Shaw’s Mill Creek Plaza on Waterman Drive.Eric Bruneau of the South Portland House of Pizza.

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