By Cary Shuman
Pete Dow is the new owner of Tony Lena’s sub shop on Boston Street.
Dow, 42, acquired the popular food establishment on Feb. 1, buying the business from former Classical football great Joe Ford.
“My son, Peter, who used to play football at Classical when Joe was a coach, ran into Joe and mentioned to him that I was looking for a new spot for a restaurant and Joe said he was looking to sell his place because he was a schoolteacher and did not have a lot of time,” said Pete Dow.
One week later Dow and Ford sat down for coffee and negotiated the sale.
Like Ford, Dow is also a former Lynn athlete and coach, having starred in the Lynn Tech football program. He was a coach in the Pine Hill Little League for 11 years and is currently a coach of the East Lynn Pop Warner ‘D’ team that won the state championship last year and fell in the New England Regional finals, one spot shy of the National Championships.
Dow’s son, Aidan Dow, is a 14-year-old freshman athlete at Classical and a past recipient of the Sonny Man Hill Sportsmanship Award. “Aidan will be working here,” said Dow.
The new owner intends to add some new food items to the menu including a white pizza section.
“I also make my own homemade marinated, fresh chicken wings and chicken tenders,” said Dow.
Business has been brisk at the restaurant. “It’s been very busy. I know Joe had a lot of support in the community as well. I’m from East Lynn so a lot of my friends and people have been supporting me from that side of the city and now my West Lynn friends have been coming in to the shop.”
Tony Lena’s also does catering, notably cold cut platters, and makes deliveries.
The most popular submarine sandwich, according to Dow, is steak and cheese.
“Steak and cheese and the Italian – those two fly out of here. Everybody loves the bread.”
Dow specialized in culinary arts as a student at Tech and later studied at a small college in Somersworth, N.H. He worked at Angie’s Clams in Revere and served as a manager at John’s Roast Beef and Fauci’s Pizza.
“I learned a lot from Taso [Nikolakopoulus] and Jimmy Fauci. They both helped me a lot. They have been very supportive and they’re proud of someone who used to work there owning his own place.”