NORWAY – A tentative date of July 11 has been set for reopening of Aries Pizza, owner Chris Farrar said.

“It’s starting to come together,” Farrar said of the renovation work. It has been going on daily since May 9 when fire destroyed the adjacent rooming house at 467 Main St. and ignited the top section of his 1899 building.

“It burned right through,” he said. “I don’t think people understand,” the extent of damage. Water went down the walls, destroyed the front apartment and necessitated the removal of walls and some ceilings and rugs throughout the building. Electrical and other systems also had to be redone to meet new state codes in the century-old building.

“This is a huge job. This is a total renovation,” Farrar said. It will be largely paid for through insurance, as much as $70,000, according to his latest estimates.

Farrar said his tenant in the front apartment, where all the walls and ceilings have to be replaced, had just moved in a month or two before the fire after her former dwelling had burned to the ground. She has since found a new residence, he said.

Patrons can expect to see pretty much the same layout as before the fire, except everything will be new.

Farrar bought the lot where the former boarding house burned. It has been paved for parking spaces and other improvements, he said.

Farrar said he is disappointed he will not be opened for the annual Norway Arts Festival, which draws thousands of people to downtown Norway during the weekend of July 9 and 10, but his best prediction at this point is that he may be able to re-open the doors by July 11.

The Board of Health must approve all renovations before he is allowed to bring any food into the building.

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