By Terry Rogers
After 35 years in the Milford Plaza Shopping Center, the owners of Mama Maria’s, Salvatore, Franco and Giuseppe Laragione, decided it was time for a change. In 2013, the company built a new shopping center near Burger King with plans to lease the storefronts to other businesses with no plans to move their popular restaurant to the new building.
“It was time for a change,” Franco Laragione said. “We wanted to update a little, to make things look a little fresher and newer. Since we already owned this building and had the space available, we thought it was time to move. We have closed the Milford Plaza location and will now serve the same menu at this new location.”
Located on Dupont Highway adjacent to the Food Lion Shopping Center, the restaurant held a soft opening and ribbon cutting on Tuesday, March 28. The official grand opening of the new location was held on Friday, March 31.
“I am glad we decided to do the soft opening,” Franco said. “We were able to work out a few glitches and problems before we had a large crowd. Our point of sale system is new, so employees are still learning how to operate it and there were a few other things we had to iron out before we filled with people.”
Mama Maria’s began in Milford Plaza as Attilio’s, a franchise out of New Jersey. A photo of Giuseppe, Franco and Salvatore soon after they opened hangs on the wall just inside the entrance to the new location with Giuseppe wearing an “Attilio’s Pizza” shirt. The restaurant became Mama Maria’s in 1985. Giuseppe, who semi-retired over ten years ago, and his sons have operated the restaurant since its inception. There is a second location in Dewey Beach as well.
Initially, the restaurant was a pizza and sandwich shop but now includes many traditional Italian dishes. Franco attended culinary school and trained with traditional Italian chefs so many of the menu items are his own recipe. His training and the hiring of an additional trained chef has helped them grow the menu to include steaks and seafood to compliment the traditional Italian selections.
The new restaurant is located at 945 North Dupont Boulevard in Milford. The restaurant is open 10 AM to 10 PM Monday through Thursday, 10 AM to 11 PM Friday and Saturday. They are open from 11 AM until 10 PM on Sunday. Menu items are available for both dine-in and carry-out.