Popular Pizza Place Reopens: Next Generation Takes Over the Legacy
The sign outside South End Two Guys Pizza on 277 South Main St. in Torrington, which had its grand reopening Wednesday, August 21st. – © Tabitha Guarnieri
After a period of mourning from the sudden loss of its sole owner, a well-known pizza restaurant in Torrington reopened Wednesday, August 21st with the next generation calling the shots.
South End Two Guys, located on South Main St. in Torrington, closed its doors back in March after the passing of its owner, Darcy McIntire. For four months customers waited for the word that the pizza restaurant would be opening again. On August 17th, the announcement hit the South End Two Guys Facebook Page that they would be reopening that week.
“I was sad when it closed,” said Colleen Coneita, a loyal customer of the pizza restaurant. “And I was jumping for joy when they reopened. They have the best pizza and lunches in town.”
“Everyone was real excited to hear about the reopening,” said Nicole Northrop, the new owner and manager of South End Two Guys. She was recently announced the trustee of the business after the passing of its previous owner, Darcy McIntire, who is the grandfather of Northrop’s daughter. McIntire initially left the business to his granddaughter, who will officially inherit the business when she reaches legal age.
Customer Colleen Coneita enjoyed an order of chicken fingers and fries on Friday, September 6th. – © Tabitha Guarnieri
Under this new ownership the restaurant has already seen some changes. Other than Northrop as the new owner and manager there is a new set of cooks and delivery drivers who jumped at the chance to help out and get the pizza restaurant running again. There have also been some changes to the menu, including lower prices, pizza slices available between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and they now serve burgers, which are made by Northrop herself.
Jenny Bozak, a customer of Two Guys for many years, admitted she likes the changes, especially the drop in prices. It was a big cheer for her and her family when they heard Two Guys was reopening, she said, and ordered dinner as soon as they heard.
“My son got the calzone and I got a grinder,” Bozak said. “It’s got a slightly different taste, but it’s still just as good as before.”
While Bozak and her family are enjoying the new and improved Two Guys, other customers are not satisfied with the slight difference in taste and are concerned that the restaurant will not live up to its previous reputation.
“Yeah, I think there are some customers that aren’t coming back,” Northrop said. Despite whatever reasons old customers have for not returning, she did say that they have had plenty of new customers as well.
“I know there’s definitely going to be some struggles,” Northrop said. She admitted that she has no previous food service experience, other than working in a Dunkin’ Donuts for a short time. “But I think with the community wanting it to be open it’s more of a push to help me get past those struggles and make this work.” Most customers do not seem concerned about the restaurant being under new ownership and feel the pizza place will be just as good as before, if not better.
“I think they’ll do well,” said Harriet Archer, another veteran Two Guys customer. “They want to make it work.”
A news article covering the opening of the new location in 2004 still rests on the wall inside the restaurant. – © Tabitha Guarnieri
This is not the first time the restaurant has switched hands. The previous owner, McIntire, was actually the third owner of the South End Two Guys business, though he was the first at the restaurant’s current location on 277 South Main St. after moving the business in 2004.
South End Two Guys was first opened in 1970 by brothers Sam and Nick Tsoulos and ran the business for 19 years. In 1989, they sold the restaurant to another set of brothers, Dino, George, and Peter Gletzakos. McIntire bought the restaurant in 1999 from the Gletzakos brothers and was able to maintain the restaurant’s reputation of being one of the best pizza spots in Torrington. As the restaurant’s newest owner, Northrop hopes to keep that same reputation in memory of McIntire.
“I feel that we have to try, at least,” she said. “That’s why we did it. It’s for Darcy.”
The reputation McIntire left behind is one that is not easily forgotten, much like McIntire himself. Customers openly expressed their grief about the passing of the restaurant owner and spoke highly of him and the way he ran his business.
“The service was outstanding while he was there,” Bozak said. “It was like one big family whenever you went there. He’ll really be missed.”
“He was one of my favorites,” said Coneita, who has known the McIntire family for over 15 years. “He was a very friendly and generous guy.”
Though McIntire will not be forgotten, the customers have already taken a liking to Northrop, calling her a nice young girl and wishing the best for her as she embarks on this new chapter of her life.
The question in everyone’s mind is: will the legacy live on?