Thursday, March 06, 2014
AMHERST — Fans of Antonio’s Pizza By the Slice will soon be able to find its slices in eastern Massachusetts.
Word spread quickly after Antonio’s posted on its Facebook page Friday that it plans to expand to the Boston area, as well as Lowell and Worcester.
Antonio’s at 31 North Pleasant St., already has other locations in Easthampton — known as Antonio’s Pizza & Wings — as well as Rhode Island, Texas and Illinois.
Now Antonio’s owners, Walter Pacheco and Steve Reeves, want to keep the expansion closer to its original home. “We wanted to expand to new places but keep it more local, focusing on areas close to Boston,” said Jay Carreiro, who manages the Amherst restaurant.
Antonio’s will move into a new building in Worcester, and is still seeking sites in the Boston area and Lowell. There is no opening date set for any of the eastern Massachusetts restaurants.
Carreiro said the new restaurants will include full service and bar to attract a wide range of customers.
“We want the locals to come in, we want students, families, and we want people to travel to us,” Carreiro said.
An area with a high density of college students would be advantageous but not essential, he said. “Ideally we’re looking for high-traffic areas and the right amount of space,” Carreiro added.
Antonio’s opened in 1991 in Amherst and is a popular stop for college students in the Pioneer Valley hungry for late-night pizza. Antonio’s has been featured on the television program “Phantom Gourmet” as a “hidden jewel.”