HALLOWELL — Kennebec Pizza on Water Street will return to its late-night brick oven pizza operations on Fridays and Saturdays under the new ownership of Kevin Hachey.

Hachey recently acquired the business, equipment and remaining inventory at 144 Water St. from the building’s owner, Walker Investments, a group run Mayor Mark Walker’s daughter Mellissa, who previously operated the pizza place, and his three sons. Hachey signed a five-year lease “at fair market value” with a five-year option to renew.

Hachey, 32, of Gardiner, works in long-term health care in Augusta and admits he has little experience in owning and operating a restaurant. But when the opportunity presented itself, it was too good to pass up, he said.

“I missed having places to eat after 8 p.m., and I miss getting pizza by the slice and brick-oven-style pizza,” Hachey said. “These are all things I like, and it seemed like a good thing to be able to bring back to the area.”

With the upcoming Water Street reconstruction looming over business owners in the downtown district, Hachey said it was something he thought about when considering the deal for the restaurant.

“I’ve talked to a few business owners about it, and anything that takes away from business will be a challenge,” he said. “Ideally, there’ll still be people that are going to want to eat.”

He hopes the construction workers like the food and “hopefully they’ll tell other people to come to Hallowell that wouldn’t have come otherwise.”

Hachey said he plans to open Friday with the current menu before expanding the menu during the winter to include sandwiches and “hopefully beer and wine.”

He said he’s hired an experienced employee who will run the restaurant when Hachey is working his day job.

The restaurant will be open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday, 11:30 a.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday, and 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Hachey said he is excited about the hours and being able to provide customers with quality pizza throughout the day and late at night.

“I heard the other day from somebody that at about 10 p.m. one night, there was about a dozen twenty-somethings at Easy Street Lounge looking for some food, and they had to leave the city to get it,” Hachey said. “We hope to change that and will cater to the late-night crowd.”

Just two weeks after opening, Hachey will take part in Old Hallowell Day on July 16 and said he’s already had family members volunteer to help.

“We’ll be open and ready for that,” Hachey said.

Mellissa Walker spoke fondly about the pizza place she ran for more than four years and recalled the day she spoke to her father on the phone and he mentioned the place was for sale.

“Jokingly, I said I’d buy it, and when I hung up the phone, it made more and more sense,” Walker said. “I was living in Florida at the time with a newborn, and three weeks later we moved to Maine and bought a pizza place.”

Walker said she got to know so many people in the community over the years and learned so much. Six months ago, she gave birth to her second daughter and knew it would be a challenge to run the restaurant with two young children. She closed the restaurant in December and re-opened in March. Her last day at the restaurant was June 18, and the pizza shop is closed for maintenance.

“Surprisingly, it was my 5-year-old that made me decide to sell,” Walker said. “She just finished her first year in school and needs to be in bed on time, not at like 10 p.m., because that’s when I got off work.”

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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