AUGUSTA — A pizza restaurant that closed up shop in Augusta a year and a half ago is staged to make a return.

Wander Pizza is expected to open at 256 State St. early in 2024.

Owner Bobby Magda said Friday he’s targeting mid-January for an opening, but that depends on when his permitting is complete.

Signs of the coming restaurant are already evident. Magda said he bought the building. It’s been painted green and the Wander Pizza sign has been erected. Magda also made an announcement on Facebook.

The restaurant was one of a slew of eateries that opened in Augusta in 2019. For three years, it operated at 265 Western Ave. serving a selection of pizza. And it’s now following the path of other restaurants that have opened up in Maine’s capital city in recent months, including Sunrise Bagel, Sand Hill Bagel Co. and Brickyard Hollow Brewing Co.

“The number of restaurants per capita in Augusta is among the highest in the state and is growing,” Keith Luke, Augusta’s economic development director, said.


While some restaurants closed during and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Augusta’s restaurant sector has reached a stable point, Luke said.

Bobby Magda, the new owner of Wander Pizza seen Friday, says he plans to reopen the eatery at 256 State St. in Augusta early next year, perhaps in January depending on permitting. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“It speaks to a larger national trend of eating out or getting take-out at a frequency we have not before seen,” he said.

At the time Wander Pizza closed in June 2022, Magda had bought Wander Wood-Fired, the catering business, from Jesse and Rachel Hardie.

“I was running a pizza place in the Brunswick area, and decided I would take on some catering, and really enjoyed it,” Magda said.

The mobile pizza kitchen is able to make pizzas on-site at weddings, rehearsals, company retreats, anniversaries or any other event. When he gave some thought to a fixed location, he acquired the business name from the Hardies and started looking for a location.

He said he spent a year looking for a location to buy. He’s dealt with landlords in the past and this time around, he wanted to have his own space.


Wander Pizza will reopen under new ownership at 256 State St. in Augusta early next year. The restaurant closed its 265 Western Ave. location in June 2022. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The State Street location that he landed on has been a restaurant for years. Most recently, has been occupied by the Red Barn Chicken & Haddock, Frosty’s Donuts and Fat Cat’s Cafe, which succeeded Al’s Pizza.

The building was reportedly sold for $290,000.

Wander Pizza is set to reopen under new ownership at 256 State St. in Augusta early next year. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Magda, who grew up in the Winslow and Waterville area, said he also enjoys the Wander philosophy — inspired by adventure — and he is taking what he has experienced in his travels and bringing the flavors of other places back to Maine.

“We’ll have the traditional pizzas, with pepperoni, sausage and vegetables, but our custom options are inspired by adventure,” he said.

Magda said in addition to New York-style pizza, wine and beer, he’s also planning to offer paninis and soups, and he plans to also serve Detroit-style pizza, made on a base of fluffier, thicker dough in a square shape.

“We’ll do it until sell-out,” he said. “They are labor intensive and they are served that day.”


When the weather warms up, Magda plans to apply for outside seating to increase the seating capacity. And in the meantime, he’ll offer delivery within about 3 1/2 miles.

“We’re shooting for seven days a week, but we may have to be closed a day in the beginning,” he said.

The hours are expected to be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

He said he’ll continue running the catering business, but it may be scaled back.

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