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Mario’s Pizza to re-open in Salem Monday

January 30, 2009
By LARRY SHIELDS, Staff Writer

SALEM - Mario's Pizza will hold a grand opening week beginning Monday when it re-opens under new ownership at 4 p.m., partner Bryan Eshelman said.

Along with partners Chad Johnson and Bill Watkins, he purchased the business in early December.

Johnson called the business, which is located at 709 E. 3rd. St., a Salem landmark for 50 years.

Eshelman said the interior was given a complete "100 percent different" facelift and the pizzas will be made fresh daily with the original (exact) recipe, sauce and dough.

"We're emphasizing that," he said, adding they haven't gotten into menu specials, but pricing will be "competitive with everyone else" and reasonable.

He said people have told them they are excited that Mario's is coming back.

When the three purchased the business, it had been closed for four years after former owner, Cathy Price, operated it for about 25 years.

Eshelman said Watkins was going to purchase the business and asked Johnson and himself for advice.

"We told him it was a Salem landmark and to go for it," Eshelman said, but he and Johnson also got involved.

The business will specialize in pizza, six-inches to 16-inches, and chicken.

Eshelman said, "We'll basically open with exactly what she (Price) had before and add a broader menu."

Eshelman expects to get involved with the community and schools.

"We want to be a part of the community. Where we can help, we want to help," he said.

Mario's will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 3 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It will be closed on Sundays.

Mario's was located on the east side of town near the old Salem Drive-in theater in the 1960s.

Larry Shields can be reached at



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