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Downtown pizzeria could reopen by March

January 06, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The owner of Rocky's University New York Pizza in Hagerstown said Tuesday that he hopes to reopen by the end of March.

Vinnie DiCola told the Hagerstown City Council during a Tuesday work session that he is in the process of remodeling the former Golden Crown Chinese Restaurant at 40 N. Potomac St.

"We'd like to move very quickly," DiCola said. "People are really anxious to see us back in business."

DiCola was forced to close Aug. 31 when a fire gutted the Public Square restaurant, which was in business for about 25 years. Some residents rallied around DiCola, holding fundraisers to help him get back on his feet.

DiCola said he has to remove some of the furniture that was in Golden Crown and install ovens, flooring, plumbing and wiring before he can reopen.

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The new Rocky's will add steaks and a variety of Italian dishes to the menu, he said.

"It won't just be pizza," DiCola said. "I have several chefs lined up. ... It's something nice to look forward to."

DiCola said he intends to apply for grants to help pay for the renovations.

He thanked city officials, particularly Economic Development Director Deborah Everhart, for working with him to find a new place.

"This is an important thing for downtown," Everhart said. "Vinnie is an icon."

In the past, DiCola has given free food to needy people who walked into his restaurant.

Everhart said DiCola was able to seal the deal after Golden Crown's lease ran out.

A use for the burned-out building that housed Rocky's was not discussed.

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