The Last Retailer Standing

<p>Despite the sudden sale and closure of Portland's once vibrant public market, one pizza parlor owner continues to incur large losses but refuses to shut down.</p>
November 29, 2006, 10am PST | Mike Lydon
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"In the end, there is pizza.

High-minded ideals -- revitalizing downtown Portland, supporting Maine agriculture --have scattered on the wind to take root elsewhere. Defunct and for sale, the former Portland Public Market building is a lonely shell of concrete, wood and glass.

And pizza.

Walk inside at lunch time. Scan the emptiness.

But wait. In a distant corner, lights blaze. A sign reads "Romeos Express." It's a mini-version of the five-store pizza chain started 18 years ago by a local businessman, Dimitrios Mihos.

Hey, Dimitrios. The market's gone. The building's vacant.
What are you doing, man?

Mihos is the first to admit: 'It's a very unusual scenario.'

This is a story of an entrepreneur who made a long-term investment and refuses to give up, even though he basically has no customers. Smart and stubborn, Mihos hopes that he may yet turn absurdity into opportunity."

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Published on Monday, November 27, 2006 in Portland Press Herald
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