Metro, Food, Top Story

Agoro’s to Replace Roggie’s in Cleveland Circle

Walk into Agoro’s Pizza Bar and Grill newest Brighton location, in what used to be Roggie’s Brew and Grille. You’ll go through the sports bar area with slate tile decor, glossy granite countertops, and a statuette of an eagle sitting atop the bar as an homage to the school that provides more than its share of late-night pizza orders. Look up, and see a DJ booth. Agoro’s hopes to be more than just a neighborhood bar. The latest addition to Cleveland Circle just began the inspection process, and will be opening soon.

Dimitrios Liakos and his brother Nick were originally not sure if they wanted to work on expanding to a new location, but one day they got a call from a friend urging them to come look at a promising place available in Brighton. The original location Agoro’s is in Somerset, Mass.

“We came up here [Roggie’s] and we looked at it and we fell in love with it,” Dimitrios said. “We could definitely see ourselves opening up a spot in Boston. … It just kind of landed in our lap.”

Dimitrios and Nick grew up in Somerset, Mass., where they spent their childhood in and around the restaurant industry, especially through their parents’ establishments that operated under the Minerva name. In 2010 the brothers took over the business, gave it their own personal touch, and renamed it Agoro’s Pizza Bar and Grill, which became their original location in Somerset. This new name was their way of staying true to their roots—it’s a shorter version of their mother’s Greek name, Agoritza. They then expanded that location from 70 to 350 seats with two function rooms for private events and experienced success in the area, which spurred them think about expanding further.

After the deal for the Brighton location went through, the brothers began a grueling construction process. Then, they needed to obtain a liquor license—a protracted process, they said, due to crackdowns by Boston regulators. The license was eventually approved and transferred, and the brothers can pick it up once they finish up inspections, a process that is beginning now.

“We didn’t think we’d need to gut this place, but we gutted everything out,” Dimitrios said, pointing toward the kitchen.

They replaced everything, from the appliances to the counters, and added a brand-new pizza oven that can make around 250 pies each hour. They also completely remodelled the dining area to make it clear that it is more of a restaurant than a bar and pizza joint. Six months of work later, the place is unrecognizable, with decor modeled after their Somerset location.

Dimitrios oversees daily operations and staffing, and Nick is in charge of private events and catering operations. Randy Machado is the general manager and has been working with the Liakos brothers for years. Gary Gianchetti, who has previously appeared on Cutthroat Kitchen on the Food Network, will serve as the head chef.

As the Liakos brothers have been going through construction during the past six months, they have met many families that comprise the Brighton community, and they want to do their best to become part of the community in every aspect, perhaps by holding where families can eat for free, Dimitrios said.

The brothers were inspired by Cleveland Circle’s role as a transportation hub, so they decided to integrate this into the pizza side of the restaurant. Now, a model train running around the perimeter of the room will carry slices of pizza for younger children.

As far as catering to BC students, Agoro’s plans to hold themed nights, including a trivia night, a paint night, and a karaoke night. They also hope to designate Tuesdays and Thursdays as senior nights. They intend on serving and delivering pizza by the slice until 3 a.m., and keeping the bar open until 1 a.m..  

“I’ve been in the entertainment and restaurant business for a long time, so for us it’s not just about the food, it’s the ambiance, it’s the lighting, it’s the sound,” Dimitrios said. “You want to come to a restaurant, and you want to feel the energy and the vibe.”

But Agoro’s plans to appeal beyond the atmostphere. The restaurant boasts a full menu like the one in Somerset, serving everything from its specialty Greek pan pizza, to pasta, steak, and seafood. The Greek influence on the food is derived from the Liakos family culture.

“We’re food-driven first,” Dimitrios said. “We care about making people happy and if the food is great everything else will follow suit.”

In addition to the improvements geared toward creating an inviting social atmosphere, Dimitrios is serious about his food business.

“If I wouldn’t eat it, I wouldn’t serve it,” he said.

Featured Image by Joanna Yuelys / Heights Staff

August 31, 2016