“This is where it ALL began. Right out here on the patio,” said Dominic Reali, referring to his plans to build an addition where the outside patio is now located at 21 India Street on the East End of Portland.
The architectural plan is once again before the Historic Preservation Board on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 6:45 pm., Room 209, for its approval. Evan Carroll, of Bild, is the architecture. Public comment will be taken at the meeting.
While details are not complete, Mr. Raeli said no paper products will be used. Rather only dishes will be used. He is in the process of applying for a liquor license with the State. Assuming that all happens on schedule, Mr. Raeli expects this building to be open for the Holiday Season later this year.
Mr. Raeli emigrated from his native Ceprano, Italy, with his family when he was twelve (12) years old. They lived next to the now razed family friendly Village Cafe in what became known as Little Italy. As a teen-ager, Mr. Raeli worked in the kitchen at the Italian restaurant for eight years. On the corner of India Street, (see above photograph), Amato’s Sandwich Shop was a thriving business. In 1972, Mr. Raeli purchased the business from John Amato, a descendent of the original owner.
“I’m very proud of the fact that Amato’s has lasted all these years. There’s a lot of competition near here and we’ve managed to be successful in this environment. I thank all of our customers who have been so supportive of our stores over the years,” said Mr. Raeli.
Today the Amato chain of stores is composed of 42 stores. Most are in Maine and others are located in Vermont and upstate New York State.