For those of you who have long mourned the closure and absence of Zimorino's Red Pies Over Montana, your suffering is over.
Those red pies are back in town.
This coming Wednesday, if all goes according to plan, Bob Zimorino's family recipes and his mother's famous Italian meatballs will once again be dished out in Missoula.
In this incarnation on West Broadway next to Hoagieville, Red Pies will be a take-out and delivery business, not a restaurant, Zimorino said.
"But many of the favorite dishes that used to be on the downtown menu - like our pizzas, the homemade Italian sausages, my mom's meatball and Italian sausage sandwiches - will be available at this place," he said. "And we will have our lasagna, the Smitty's wings, salads and garlic bread.
"We will also be introducing a new item, an oven-roasted Italian chicken - a half of a chicken."
Having worked as a real estate agent all these many years since he worked the floor at his Higgins Avenue restaurant, Zimorino won't be manning the ovens at this new venture.
"I'm the quality control guy and the guy in charge of new product development," Zimorino said. The day-to-day business of running the operation falls to Zimorino's partners, longtime restaurant owners Nick Alonzo and Bob Powell, and their managers at the Montana Club and Hoagieville.
"This is a partnership with Nick and Bob and some of their key managers, and it's been great," Zimorino said. "They do a really great job with training and they have found a lot of really experienced people in the pizza business to come work for us."
All of the items on the menu have been carefully chosen to fit specific criteria, Zimorino said: "They have to be dishes that travel well."
It's been five years since Missoula had a slice of Red Pies, but Zimorino's distinctive comfort food has not been forgotten, according to Zimorino's Red Pies Over Montana Facebook page.
"I was driving down Broadway the other day and saw a Zim's Red Pies sign across from Hoagieville!!!!" said Laura Snyder in a March 18 post. "Could it be true???? Are they coming back!!!????!!! Has anyone heard?"
Laura, it's true. The phone number is 541-PIES.
Reporter Betsy Cohen can be reached at 523-5253 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.