Say this of John Conte: He's gathering no moss. The Conte's 1894 owner — famous for his seafood, his volatile personality (for example, he hates being called a chef because "chefs these days are nothing but a bunch of punks," he once told Down East magazine), and his appearance on Anthony Bourdain's food show No Reservations — is on the move again as his latest home, Spruce Head Pizza in South Thomaston, has shuttered for good.
In an unusual partnership, Spruce Head adopted Conte, so to speak, after the iconoclast was evicted last spring from his previous location. The New York-style pizzeria cut back on its own offerings to make way for Conte's Italian-style seafood (nothing deep-fried). At the end of September, the pizza operation shut down for the season, while Conte's 1894 carried on independently in the space. The day after Christmas, though, Spruce Head announced via Facebook that it "is now officially closed" and will not return, while Conte should be back in the spring in a new, yet-to-be-determined spot.
Conte's since 1894 at Spruce Head Pizza is now officially closed. Chef John will be back in the spring in a new...Posted by Spruce Head Pizza on Saturday, December 26, 2015
Keep an eye on this one, because Conte has proven time and again that he's a survivor.