Spartan Pizza and Restaurant Ready for Battle
New pizza shop at the northern end of Daniel Webster Highway opened its doors in Merrimack on Jan. 7.
With pizzas called Athena, Hades, Apollo, Pegasus, Zeus and Spartan, it's hard to resist seeing if they live up to their names.
That's what you'll find on the menu at the new Spartan Pizza and Restaurant, in the home of the former Pizza Man at 733 Daniel Webster Highway.
In November, the Katsoulis family of Hudson, former 18-year owners of Hudson House of Pizza, purchased the defunct pizza shop with a plan to revitalize the once popular eatery and make it a place for families to dine out any night of the week.
Dimitri Katsoulis said when they sold Hudson House, his parents planned to retire, spend some time with family in Greece and Dimitri, who has a degree in computer science planned to get back into software. But after a few months of retirement, Katsoulis said his 80-year-old father “being an old-school Greek guy, got bored” and they decided they'd look into getting back into the family-owned pizza shop business.
Having been in the industry for so long, Katsoulis said they heard through someone they know that works in food delivery that Pizza Man had gone out of business.
“Before we knew it, we had a pizza place again,” Katsoulis said. “It happened really fast.”
Katsoulis bought the former Pizza Man in November with the intention of turning it around and re-opening the business within a couple of weeks. But it became a much bigger project than first anticipated.
“We thought, if we're going to do this, let's do it right,” Katsoulis said.
They painted the walls in warm gold and maroon and laid down tiled carpets in the dining room. They gave the restaurant a top to bottom cleaning and ended up having to replace the majority of the kitchen equipment. Because of that, they had to install a whole new fire suppression system, which set them back a bit longer, but on Jan. 7, Spartan Pizza opened it's doors to Merrimack.
It's been a great progression, getting busier and busier every day, Katsoulis said. However, to customers who visited on the first weekend, if you had a less than perfect experience, please give them another go, Katsoulis begged.
“We got killed that Friday night, almost unprepared killed,” Katsoulis said. “We were a little more prepared on Saturday, but I hope, if anyone had an experience that wasn't up to my standards, I hope they'll give us another chance.”
The good news, he said just before the expected dinner rush a week ago, is that they've definitely been getting busier day by day, as people start hearing there's something new in town.
“We've had to hire a few more people, which is good,” he said. And they are still looking to hire another grill cook and a pizza maker for the weekends.
In addition to serving Greek pizza made with fresh ingredients, Spartan Pizza also serves fresh seafood, subs, salads, fried dinners, grilled dinners and more. They also have a kids menu.
Their specialty pizzas, like the Athena – which has fresh spinach, olives, tomatoes, olive oil, fresh garlic, and a blend of cheeses – are a popular selling point on the menu.
In fact, Katsoulis had a customer who came in and gave one of the girls behind the counter a hard time about Greek-style pizza, but ordered one to give it a shot. That customer called a little while later to apologize and tell them that he really enjoyed the pizza he ordered, Katsoulis said.
Their chicken tenders are also a popular item, as they are made fresh – not frozen.
Katsoulis said they didn't specifically come looking in Merrimack for a restaurant, it happened out of circumstance, but they'd heard Pizza Man was once a busy place with a good reputation that had fallen off a bit.
“We want that family clientele to come back,” Katsoulis said.
Also on his wish list for the business?
Katsoulis said he wants to serve a quick and satisfying lunch, one were business people know they can come in and get a good, quick meal on their break.
In Hudson, police officers and the police chief were frequent patrons of Hudson House of Pizza. Katsoulis said he would love to form a similar rapport and trust with the police department in Merrimack.
“I want to see people sitting down and eating somewhere they feel safe and know they can get good, clean service,” Katoulis said. “I want people to know they can go out for a good meal and not have to break the bank.”
Spartan Pizza and Restaurant is at 733 Daniel Webster Highway. They are open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week and deliver all day and night. Find them online at www.spartanpizzanh.com or on Facebook and call to place an order at 603-424-6666.