Construction began a few weeks ago on a new shopping center on Route 113 in Milford at a location owned by a long-time local favorite restaurant, Mama Maria’s. According to co-owner, Salvatore Laragione, the new center is expected to be completed in approximately six to eight months. The new center will be located next to Burger King, adjacent to the Food Lion shopping center.
“We’ve owned the lot for about 15 years, and we just decided it was time to put it to good use,” Mr. Laragione said. “I have had a lot of interest in the building, but nothing is official yet. We don’t have any signed leases.” According to Mr. Laragione, there has been interest from several different businesses including Sleepy’s, FroYo, and even a steakhouse based out of Wilmington.
A fixture in the city of Milford for almost 30 years, Mama Maria’s began as a small franchise out of New Jersey, becoming Mama Maria’s in 1985. The restaurant has been in the Laragione family since opening in Milford. Originally run by Giuseppe Laragione, who semi-retired over ten years ago, the restaurant in Milford, and a second location in Dewey Beach, are now run by his sons, Franco and Salvatore.
The restaurant began as a simple pizza and sandwich location, but the menu has expanded to include many traditional Italian dishes. Many of these menu items Franco Laragione learned after attending culinary school and training with traditional Italian chefs. Salvatore Laragione says his brother’s training, along with hiring a culinary chef, helped them improve the menu that includes steaks and seafood as well as classic Italian foods.
Franco La Ragione, owner of the new shopping center stated that “Mama Maria’s has been a part of the Milford Shopping Center for 30 years and will continue to serve their customers at the current location.”