CHICOPEE — The city of Chicopee hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 25 to celebrate Petros’ new owner Justin Mahar alongside his mother Robin, who both look to keep the popular restaurant a staple in the city.

Mahar said it meant the world to him to see members of the state and local government attend the ceremony as well as the packed out restaurant of residents enjoying their food.

He added, “It means a lot. It’s so nice to see the support from the city, to see everyone come down. They are come into the restaurant every week and the city has been great to me. I am excited to be a staple here for many years to come.”
Petros will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. with breakfast all week and lunch Monday through Saturday and is located at 351 Front St.

Mahar becoming the owner of Petros is a full circle moment as, when he was 17 years old, his first job was washing dishes and cleaning the floors at the restaurant.

He added, “I got hired by the original owner and worked for him for about seven years before he sold it and worked for the other owner for about a year before I left and then came back for the opportunity to own it and continue to bring a consistently good breakfast to the city.”

Petros and the customers have become a family to Mahar and he is excited to continue serving the community he loves.

“I have people come in two times a day, three times a day for meals. There is no question the support the city shows for not just here but other small businesses around. It’s really important to support small businesses. We have seen kids grow up here and we are seeing them now driving here to get their own food. It’s like we are all a part of a big family,” Mahar said.

City Councilor At-Large Robert Zygarowski was at the event and said he has been coming to Petros years and looks forward to it continuing.

A big reason Mahar decided to buy the restaurant was because of family with his mother Robin helping along with his brother in the kitchen.

Mahar said patience and being considerate is an important lesson he has learned so far to help him run the restaurant.

He added, “Always putting the customer first, always thinking about the experience of somebody coming into my restaurant. Patience is the number one thing, and it isn’t just with people it’s with everything and how you have to plan.”
Mahar talked about the importance of continuing serving good food and coffee to an already popular establishment.

He said, “A lot is going through my mind right now,” Mahar said, “Excitement for the future and a lot of hard work that I have to put in. I have been here for a while, I took a break, I stopped working here for about a year, but I am excited for what’s to come. I love the people. It’s something that I wanted to do and knew what was going to come with it and it’s nothing I can’t handle.”

He added a message for those residents who have visited the restaurant over the past few years with past owners.

Mahar said, “I want people to know who have been coming here throughout the years that it’s under new ownership and give it another try. I swear it’s going to be a better, more consistent place for a good cup of coffee and a good plate of food. I am excited to keep the restaurant going.”

If you have never been to Petros, Mahar said if you have never been, he recommends the pancakes or the ham but to start off with one pancake.
“You will see why,” Mahar added.

Mayor John Vieau was also at the event to recognize the efforts of Mahar and his team for reopening a place that Chicopee residents and government members have fallen in love with.

He said, “It’s with great joy and excitement that I extend this heartfelt congratulation to our new owner, their team, their commitment to keep this cherished establishment open and serving our community. Petros has long been more than just a restaurant. It’s been a gathering place where friends and families come together to create memories over delicious meals.”

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