KODIAK — On most days, you’ll find Dino Macheras wearing his chef’s hat as owner of Angelo’s, Kodiak’s best-known Italian restaurant.
On Tuesday, however, Macheras was hatless, his booted feet peeking through a hole in the ceiling of Kodiak’s downtown Alaska Commercial Company store.
It’s not a new career — it’s an expansion of an existing one. Later this month, Macheras plans to open Angelo’s Express, a business that will be Kodiak’s first downtown pizza restaurant in years.
“We want to be close to town,” he said during a break from his construction work. “We’re very happy to be here.”
In 2008, when Macheras and Anna Maria Kaloumenou opened Angelo’s, they had their sights set on a location on Lower Mill Bay Road. Lease disagreements arose, and the two decided to settle their business in a former Pizza Hut away from downtown.
While that site is successful, it also is about 2 1/2 miles from downtown — too far for walkers or people who live aboard boats in St. Paul Harbor.
Now, through an agreement with the Alaska Commercial Company, Macheras is renovating one corner of the company’s Kodiak store and putting in a full-service deli, buffet, salad bar and pizza restaurant.
“We’re almost close to getting done,” he said.
The work is clearly visible to AC Company shoppers as well as pedestrians walking by the front of the store — they can peek in through wide new windows and a service door that will allow walk-up buying.
Mike Campbell, manager of the store, said the venture is a win-win partnership. “These kinds of ventures keep money in town,” he said, “(and it) generates business for us, too.”
Macheras is no stranger to opening new businesses. Since coming to Alaska in 1968, he has opened more than a dozen clubs or restaurants from Anchorage to Unalaska.
In the latter city, he operated a restaurant in an AC store, an operation similar to his venture here.
“It’s been a long journey,” he said.
Macheras said the new restaurant’s hours of operation are still being worked out, but they will initially follow those of the AC store: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Once things get going, Macheras said, Kodiak could start to see breakfast offerings or late-night pizza even after 10 p.m.