Antonia and Steve Sotiropoulos who have owned the popular Falmouth House of Pizza Family Restaurant in the same spot on Route 1 for forty-one (41) years, are being evicted from this location by their landlords Jonathan Cohen and his business partner Joe Soley.+ Other family members are in an intense hunt to find a comparable location – that seats between 120-160 customers. So far, they have not succeeded in their hunt and time is running out. They need to vacate the building by May 1, 2019.
Yesterday was an emotional day for the family because word of the Cohen eviction had spread around Falmouth. Loyal customers dropped in to learn the strange details of the eviction and see if there was anything they could do to assist. There were some jabs at Cohen as well.
“How different business negotiations are today,” said Antonia. Back in 1977, they borrowed $50,000. from the Maine National Bank, Falmouth. “There were no loan papers signed. It was a verbal agreement,” she said. “It was all about trust.” The couple also borrowed money from family located in New Hampshire. Both are from Greece, but met here in the United States. Steve was a bar tender in Gloucester, Massachusetts at the time. They’ve been married for forty-three (43) years. “We are going to open a pizzeria to raise our family,” they decided. It worked well. Until they met up with Cohen&Soley.
The eviction-happy team of Cohen&Soley purchased the shopping center on US Route 1 in Falmouth last March. Immediately, they offended many because of their grandiose plans for the shopping center. The two have since backed away from those plans. Next he went after a northeast chain – Ocean State Job Lots – who had recently moved into the shopping center investing a significant amount of money in the process. The landlords lost a lawsuit brought by the tenant last year. Where will the eviction-happy team strike next?
For more information, please call the Falmouth House of Pizza Family Restaurant at (207) 781-5251 or stop in at 251 US Route 1, Falmouth. Please visit post dated May 24 2019 for more information on the lawsuit Cohen&Soley lost to Ocean State Job Lots last year.
+ Joe Soley was a former business partner of the disgraced Spiro Agnew, vice president in the Richard Nixon administration. Soley, 88, and Agnew worked together in housing in Baltimore, Maryland. Jonathan Cohen is the developer of the WEX headquarters on Portland’s east end waterfront. He intends to build a large garage at 100 Fore Street as well. He is owner of the controversial Ocean Gateway Parking Garage on Fore Street.