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Milano’s Pizza holds grand opening in Overton

Many local customers have already tasted the wares at Milano’s Pizza during their low-key “soft opening” but Overton’s newest restaurant held their “official” grand opening Monday.

“We are very excited to be here,” said owner and operator Steve Hazaimeh. “The Overton-New London community is a great place, with great people, and we look forward to providing delicious food and a fantastic dining experience for years to come.”

It’s a family affair for Hazaimeh, whose cousin Billy Hazaimeh joins him in the kitchen 11 a.m.-10 p.m., 7 days a week at Milano’s location on 109 South Commerce Street in downtown Overton.

“We are committed and we are passionate about this,” Billy Hazaimeh said. “This is not a hobby for us, or something we do on the side, this is very serious to us. We want people to know that we want to do the best for them.”

New London native Justin Worley shares responsibilities in the kitchen with the Hazaimehs and says their passion for the community parallels his own.

“I’m from this area, so I know that there’s an opportunity for another restaurant — another choice — to come in and do well,” he said. “I know that people around here just want good food and good service at a good price, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Hazaimeh said the company has locations in Frankston, Seven Points, Wills Point, and Van. He first considered opening a restaurant one time when he was passing through town.

“I was driving, on my way to somewhere else, when I noticed that there were not many restaurants here,” he said. “I thought a town this size could definitely have more choices than are currently here.”

Hazaimeh and his uncle had purchased their current building, formerly “The Green Melon,” and was looking forward to expanding the facility.

So far, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.

“Best Italian food in the area, I think,” said Overton native Dr. Bob V. Leviticus. “I travel all over East Texas with my job, but Milano’s is probably my favorite place to eat.”

Arp resident Gloria Burton says the delivery is an “added bonus.”

“I’ve got three kids, so loading everyone up can be a hassle just to eat out,” she said. “But knowing we can order two large pizzas for 20 bucks and support a local business at the same time, is an added bonus!”

Hazaimeh said Milano’s delivers to the neighboring communities of Overton, New London, and Arp for a minimum order of $10 — a $20 minimum for locations outside the city limits.

“Delivery is important, both for us as well as the community,” he said. “Delivery helps us because it helps us do more business and serve more customers, customers who maybe don’t feel like dining out.”

Not only those, Hazaimeh said, but those “on the clock.”

“It also allows us to employ more people,” he said. “We really believe strongly in employing local people, bringing more jobs to the community and helping the town.”

This desire to be an asset to the town also drives their future plans, Hazaimeh said.

“We would like to expand, possibly into the building next door. We see a lot of possibilities,” he said. “Perhaps making a space for the young people to enjoy themselves and also a location for some outdoor dining […] there are a lot of things we’re hoping to do in the future.”

But, in the meantime, they’re just taking it one day at a time.

Hazaimeh said the initial response from the public has been overwhelming, and only encourages his desire to provide local residents with an excellent dining experience for the entire family.

“We always like opening locations in small towns. It’s more quiet and laid back,” he said. “The people have been great, and we really like the location, so we’re looking forward to doing good business here.”

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