By Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News
NAUGATUCK — Popular borough restaurant American Pie has closed because the owner says a rent increase was too big to swallow.
American Pie owner Kosta Archontides closed its doors for good on Saturday, May 14 at 500 South Main St. after he said the landlord increased the rent. The restaurant sold American food including pizza, burgers, french fries, grinders and beer.
“The landlord wanted way too much rent,” Archontides said.
Archontides said he tried to buy the property but the landlord wouldn’t sell it. Archontides didn’t disclose the exact amount in the hike of rent.
“I told him to sell the property or I’m leaving,” Archontides said. “He’s not very happy with me. He’s not a reasonable person, as a landlord. As a landlord, he should’ve been willing to negotiate.”
It was a significant increase in rent according to Archontides.
“The rent was already well above the market value,” Archontides said.
Archontides, who was working about 80 hours a week, said everything is very expensive and to run a business, it’s not easy anymore.
“It’s hard to find help. Expenses are through the roof,” Archontides said. “It’s not an easy business to be in right now.”
Archontides said he bought the business in 2012 but that American Pie has been in its location since 1991.
Archontides said he plans to take this summer off and relax but potentially relocate his business.
Archontides, a Connecticut native, said even if he doesn’t reopen his business, he’s not worried about if the opportunity presents itself, would like to relocate in the borough due to having great customers.
The land and building is appraised at $273,740 and assessed at $191,620, according to land records.
Archontides said the restaurant was a busy place and got to know customers.
“They used to come here as kids and they come back,” Archontides said.
“What I’ll miss the most, customers,” Archontides said. “I got to know them.”