Auction date for Antonio’s building 

Staff Writer
Friday, June 24, 2016

AMHERST – A downtown building that for nearly 25 years has been home to a pizza-by-the-slice restaurant will be sold at a foreclosure auction in August.

According to a legal advertisement published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette on Monday, the auction of 31 North Pleasant St., the site of Antonio’s, will be held Aug. 16. 

The auction is coordinated by a lawyer for Duane Morris LLP of Boston, on behalf of T.D. Bank, for “a breach of the conditions” of the mortgage by owner Reves Amherst Pizza Property LLC.

Specifics about what triggered the foreclosure auction, and its impact on the restaurant, are uncertain. The lawyer handling the case could not immediately be reached for comment.

Assessor David Burgess said he was notified recently about the scheduled auction, adding that it has nothing to do with the town. Property taxes and others fees collected on the property by Amherst are paid in full.  The one-story building is assessed at $267,200.

Burgess added that he does not know what would happen to the business, but that as a patron of the restaurant, he has always appreciated the quality of its pizza.

Business representatives said they were unaware of the auction prior to the advertisement.

Sarah La Cour, executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District,  said Antonio’s is up to date on the fee assessed downtown property owners for the district. 

And Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce interim director Jerry Guidera said the business has seemingly continued to be successful.

Since it was opened in October 1991 by Bruno Matarazzo, the popularity of the pizza-by-the-slice concept has led to the creation of eight restaurants in the chain, with others in Belchertown, Easthampton and Worcester, and as far away as Champaign, Illinois and College Station, Texas. At one time, crowds generated at the site were so big that on late nights on weekends police patrols were set up nearby. Eventually, the sidewalk was extended toward the road to accommodate a gathering spot that became known as Club Sidewalk.

Matarazzo, who died in 1999, sold Antonio’s to Stamatis Reves in 1998. Five years later, Barbara Matarazzo sold the building to Reves Amherst Pizza Property LLC, for $320,000.

Efforts to reach Reves, who lives in Rhode Island, were unsuccessful, and a manager at Antonio’s in Amherst could not be reached for comment.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.