Contractors are gutting the interior of the former Jasmine Cafe in the Auburn Plaza in Auburn where OTTO Pizza will be opening in “a few months,” according to the contractors. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

OTTO Pizza is coming to Auburn with its first local location set to open at 730 Center St. by mid-July.

Owner Greg Ingrao said the restaurant will be full service offering dine-in, mobile pickup, curbside pickup and catering. It will have a full bar with promotions, happy hours, televised sporting events and seating for between 60 and 70 people.

The chain, which started in Portland in 2009, has grown to 20 locations in Massachusetts and Maine. The Auburn location is the 10th one in Maine and the second for Ingrao.

The company describes its food as an “elevated pizza experience” based on carefully sourced, high-quality wholesome ingredients, using culinary inspired recipes. The menu includes vegetarian and vegan options in addition to a long list of choices for traditional and specialty pies, salads and a few starters in addition to house-made tiramisu and chocolate chip cookies!

Ingrao plans to hire about 30 people for full- and part-time positions in the back of house and front of house operations as well as delivery drivers.

Keep an eye on The Buzz for further updates as OTTO gets ready to open.

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Bry Warren serves an iced coffee Thursday morning in the newly opened Aroma Joe’s at Crossroads Market on Kittyhawk Avenue in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Aroma Joe’s opens new location in Auburn 

A new Aroma Joe’s at 791 Kittyhawk Ave., is one of several new locations opening in Maine this year, taking the growing company to 85 locations in seven states. The store and offers a drive-thru, handcrafted coffee and espresso drinks, breakfast sandwiches and other food items.

It is owned and operated by local franchisees Kristal Duffy and Joel Woodward, who reside in and own and operate another Aroma Joe’s in Windham.

Duffy and Woodward are partners in business and in life; they have been together for 15 years and left their jobs as a secretary and truck driver, respectively, when they became Aroma Joe’s franchisees in 2015.

“When we first became franchisees seven years ago, it really forced us out of our comfort zone,” Duffy said. “Now we are excited about the future and continuing to grow our business. This coffee house is perfectly located right off of the Maine Turnpike for locals and travelers alike. Our goal with this newest location is to serve the Auburn community with the utmost compassion and care.”

Hours are Monday-Sunday 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Adonish Lilly, co-owner of Brenzels Caribbean Cuisine, stands in the dining room of the newly opened restaurant on Park Street in Lewiston where Chopsticks Restaurant was for many years. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Brenzels Caribbean Cuisine opens downtown

Brenzels Caribbean Cuisine is open at 37 Park St., Lewiston, the former Chop Sticks. It’s described as a family-owned, unique, healthy Jamaican restaurant with a twist. It’s open for lunch and dinner 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday throught Friday with takeout available until 8 p.m. On Sundays only, Brenzels is offering breakfast starting at 9 a.m.

Offerings include famous Jamaican dishes like saltfish and ackee, which usually is cooked with scotch bonnet peppers! There are vegan and vegetarian options on the menu, which can be checked out on its Facebook page. Dinner offerings include jerk chicken, curry chicken, oxtail and Faith’s veggie bacon with rice.

Eight smoothies are on the menu, including guava, passionfruit and antioxidant berry.

The Buzz offers quick hits about trending area business happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact business writer Christopher Wheelock at 689-2817 or [email protected]

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