Rumors have been swirling about the future of Nicola Pizza House, which has been a mainstay in the Arlington community for more than 40 years.
Here’s what we were able to find out on Friday:
Tushar Patel, the Lexington man who owns Peter Pan Superette at 2 Park Ave., has bought the Nicola property, at 1215 Mass. Ave., and the adjacent house from Nicola “Nicky” and Mary Dellacioppa. The properties changed hands May 1, both Patel and Nicola Dellacioppa said Friday.
Dellacioppa, who started the pizzeria with his wife Mary on Jan. 15. 1972, said that they were looking to retire.
He said at the time of the property sale, he was under the impression that Patel also wanted to buy the Nicola business. He said he believed that Patel was planning to keep the Nicola name and employees and learn he and his wife’s recipes, which is why he believed Patel wanted him to keep the business open in the meantime and which is why he agreed to do so.
The two men had verbally agreed to change the business over on July 1 of this year, Dellacioppa said Friday. No business transaction has closed at this point.
Patel has since backtracked a bit on these plans, Dellacioppa said, possibly because, due to code changes, he would need to make significant and potentially costly upgrades to the space even if he wants to run it as the same business.
On Friday, Patel said he is “still considering options,” including a pizza place, with the property.
He said he bought the properties because he likes their location and they’re only a quarter-mile from his current convenience store.
With Patel now unsure of his plans, Dellacioppa, of Winchester, said he’s not sure if he’s going to keep the business open until July 1. He said a couple of his employees have already left due to the lack of job security. He said he should know more after hearing from Patel’s attorney after the Memorial Day holiday.
Regardless of Patel’s plans, residents have been sorry to hear of the Dellacioppas’ departure.
“People have been coming in and been crying,” Nicola said Friday. “We’ve been here for 42 years, we’ve made a lot of friends in the community.”
The news of Nicola’s sale comes a week after another longtime family-run Arlington business, announced that it had been sold after 48 years in town.