Joyful beginnings
George Diamantakos joyfully welcomed guests to the grand opening of the Boston Pizza in Embrun on Monday evening.      Vetter photo

Representatives from Mother Teresa Catholic School including Principal Robert Hannigan (at left of cheque) accepted a cheque for $2,020 from staff at Embrun Boston Pizza grand opening who donated two days of tips to the school. Paul Pascal, VP of Operations for Boston Pizza, is at far right. Vetter photo

Candice Vetter
Villager Staff
EMBRUN – The new Boston Pizza outlet which has replaced the Lucky 7 above the mall in Embrun officially opened on Mon., Nov. 6, with a gala party that welcomed over 200 guests.

This is the 388th Boston Pizza location to open in Canada. The former bar has been transformed with new décor, booths, tables and large screen TVs everywhere. The outlet has about 80 staff and takes up about 7,000 sq. ft.

Mall owner and Boston Pizza franchisee George Diamantakos and his wife Rollande Semmeville were welcomed into the “Boston Pizza family” by David Harper, lead corporate trainer.

Vice President of Operations Paul Pascal praised Diamantakos and Semmeville for their commitment and business acumen. Diamantakos has been in the restaurant or real estate business for 48 years. He already owns Tim Hortons in Embrun, the OPP detachment building on Bay St., Dairy Queen and the mall itself, among other business ventures. In a brief interview, he related how good the Embrun community has been to him, and his pleasure that Russell Township was recently named the 16th best municipality in Canada, out of 23,000.

Pascal said that franchises from coast to coast have been successful, and part of the success equation is franchisees like Diamantakos, and the crowd of people that came out to the event showed “George’s importance to the community.”

In his answering speech Diamantakos said, “Thank you to all the people. Boston Pizza gave me the respect and credit, and Bernard and his team did a fantastic job.” He also praised his long-time staff, some of whom have worked for him for 20 or 25 years.

The restaurant had a two-day dress rehearsal before its grand opening, and the tips left were all donated by staff to Mother Teresa Catholic School, for a gift of over $2,000 to the Russell school, which was presented at the opening.