PORTLAND, Maine — A late-night pizza parlor familiar to generations of Old Port bar-hoppers will close this week.
The family-owned Bill’s Pizza has been a staple of Portland’s waterfront since 1988, a short walk from many of the city’s prominent bars and shopping zones. The restaurant’s old-school pizza style, part of a no-frills menu that included shakes, sandwiches and fries, had aged into a Portland throwback as the last decade’s food scene generated several pizzerias who paired artisanal pies with an elevated dining atmosphere.
Ownership announced Saturday on social media that Bill’s Pizza would permanently close at the end of the week.
“We will miss all of you and hope to see all our regular faces before February 28th,” the company said.
For decades, Bill’s Pizza fit seamlessly in the ecosystem of Portland nightlife, which drew countless people to the area’s watering holes, dance clubs, karaoke stages and rock shows. It was one of the only eateries to serve until 2 a.m., making it a logical late night destination for those looking to stabilize the dizzying effects of the city’s loudest and most energetic social scene.
The eatery remained open until 2 a.m. as the pandemic shuttered area bars last summer. The restaurant depended on sales from foot traffic and Portland’s rotation of international ferry services, which were both severely hampered by the pandemic.
In May, owner John Bradbury told the BDN that he hoped that a coronavirus vaccine would be discovered soon so that tourists could return to the city.
“We hemorrhage cash all winter and rely on Memorial Day,” Bradbury said.
Inquiries to Bill’s Pizza were not immediately returned Monday.
Bill’s Pizza’s location in Old Orchard Beach, which opened in 1949, will remain open.
BDN photojournalist Troy Bennett contributed to this report.
Correction: An earlier version of this report misstated how long Bill’s Pizza has operated in the Old Port.