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Reopened Giacomo's aiming for high quality

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Reopened Giacomo's aiming for high quality (edge photo by Kevin Bennett)

BANGOR - The focus of the new Giacomo’s is clear. High quality product. Matt Haskell and Evelina Kacprzykowska – owners of downtown restaurant Blaze - reopened the gourmet sandwich shop in downtown Bangor on May 19. 

“We want to differentiate ourselves from everybody else and we want to be a one-stop shop for everybody that lives here so they can come here after work and get stuff they can’t get anywhere else,” said Giacomo’s chef Ben Gustin.

The new-look Giacomo’s has only one person who worked at the old establishment.

“We are doing a lot of things differently than the previous owner did; we have expanded it quite a bit,” said Gustin.

Among the changes include a completely new building with new floors and chairs said Gustin. The new building contains reclaimed wood from the Penobscot River.

The new menu contains many high-end products including steak from Idaho and meat and cheese from Vermont. The menu also includes high end meat and cheese from Italy.

“The sandwiches are almost entirely influenced by Italy, “Said Gustin. “I have an Italian background, but I went to a French cooking school, but I grew up in Oregon, so a lot of my background is in Latin and Asian cuisine, so I have also brought that to the table a little bit. I don’t buy my provolone from Wisconsin, I buy it from Italy which not a lot of people do.” 

Another new addition to Giacomo’s is groceries.

“Nobody has the grocery element in downtown Bangor, it's helping out those who live in downtown Bangor. They can come in a buy a bottle of wine and a nice fish or steak,” said co-owner Evelina Kacprzykowska.

Kacprzykowska and co-owner Matt Haskell are focused on boosting the local economy. Local businesses did the floors and walls along with the wooden bowls used for sandwiches.

“There is a lot of involvement going on in this restaurant,” said Kacprzykowska.

In addition, much of the food for Giacomo’s is sourced from local farms.

“Matt has built a lot of relationships with local farms,” said Gustin.

More additions to the new Giacomo’s are still to come. More produce and groceries will be added as soon as the air condition gets up and running, according to Kacprzykowska. Other additions include online ordering for groceries. And in the kitchen, sushi will offered in the near future.

The construction going on in downtown Bangor, has not helped the crew at Giacomo’s. Everyone who works there has to move their cars every 90 minutes.

“It is a pain,” said Gustin.

Despite the annoyance, the crew at Giacomo’s are eager for what is to come.

“We are are working really hard to make it happen,” said Gustin.

Hot items thus far have been the fresh seafood and steak along with the selections of smoothies and juices, according to Kacprzykowska.

“There's still some little hiccups here and there, but we are gonna get it done. In a couple weeks we should be rolling,” she said.

A full menu can be found online at giacomosbangor.com. Daily specials can be found on Giacomo’s Facebook page. If you would like to place an order, you can call 207-947-3702. 

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