About elshepherd

Marketing professional working and living in Portland, ME.

20 Taps! New Menu Items! Cocktails! A New Beer! Lots to celebrate at OTTO’s Spring Smörgåsbord!

It may not look much like Spring out there, but everything’s new at OTTO East End (225 Congress Street). The second-oldest OTTO location, located at the foot of Munjoy Hill, has just received a Spring refresh!

Join us on Thursday, March 15 from 5-8pm for our Spring Smörgåsbord, showcasing a bevy of exclusive new additions to the East End OTTO.

During the event, 50% of all sales of new menu items will be donated to our friends, the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization.


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20 Taps!
We’ve vastly expanded our tap lines, and will be featuring the very best in regional craft beer!

Pizza Night IPA
We’ll be launching Pizza Night IPA, our brand new beer collaboration with Banded Horn Brewing Co. made with Simcoe, Mosaic, Azacca and Summit hops. An herbal, grassy, piney & tropical-flavored IPA made just for OTTO.

Signature Cocktails
Moscow Mule
Gin Basil Collins
Rosemary Margarita
OTTO Palmer

New Bar Menu!
A slew of delicious new things that we like to call ‘Not Pizza:’
Sliders (Meatball, Falafel, or Pulled Pork)
Hand-Cut Fries w/House-Made Sauces (Buffalo-Dusted or Loaded)
Baked Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Everything Knots


Detroit Style Pizza
We’ve held several pop-ups in Maine and Massachusetts to perfect our take on Detroit-Style pie, and we’re thrilled to be serving it full-time at OTTO East End. Expect a delicious, square-shaped, deeper dish pie with a thick, crispy crust.

Come on down! We look forward to seeing you!a5b74674-ed6b-4826-b9a1-a04138fa8007

Get happy: Free slice with purchase of specially priced ‘beer of the month’

HappyHour_2018_FBA free slice with the purchase of a specially priced local craft beer? Yes, please.

Starting TODAY, 3/1 we will be offering a Happy Hour ‘Beer of the Month’ at all of our Maine locations!

This month, our featured beer is Austin Street Brewery Patina Pale!

We are working closely with all of your favorite local breweries to feature some really great beers in the coming months, including limited and exclusive offerings.

As always, wine is $5/glass and you can receive a FREE SLICE with a draft beer or wine purchase during Happy Hour – Monday-Thursday between 4-6 PM.

PLUS, our March special begins today – Lemon-Roasted Asparagus with Red Onion & Ricotta!

*limit 1 free slice per visit. Available at Maine OTTO locations only.

OTTO’s ‘Draw Outside of the Box’ Contest: The Winners!

On September 18 of 2017, we began receiving the first entries in our ‘Draw Outside of the Box‘ contest, in which young designers from kindergarten through 8th grade could compete for the opportunity to have their design grace thousands of OTTO pizza boxes throughout Maine and Massachusetts.

264 entries, thousands of votes, 31 finalists, and 6 judges later, we have our winners.

We want to take a moment to thank each of the amazing artists who competed, our judges who took time out of their busy schedules to select the winning designs, Artist & Craftsman Supply, who generously donated additional prizes for the winner’s school and for 1st-3rd place finalists, and Colony Foods, who are graciously donating the plates and production work required to print the winning design.

All of us (including everyone at OTTO, our panel of judges, and our customers) were completely blown away by the talent on display in each of the wonderful entries. We all look forward to seeing each young artist nourish their talent and creativity, and share their art with their communities, and with the world.

Although there were so many worthy entries, our esteemed panel of judges did have the difficult task of selecting the three winning designs out of 31 finalists.

Drum roll please…

Mali J
King Middle School
Portland, ME
Our New York City-based judge, the Clio-winning and Grammy-nominated designer James Spindler, was “really impressed” by this “future graphic design star”.

Spindler applauded the design’s “great use of two colors, and an entirely original and highly graphic type treatment and layout.”

Clif Stoltze, founder and creative director of Boston-based Stoltze Design Group, echoed Spindler’s sentiments, stating, “I appreciate the symmetrical incorporation of the type into the sliced pizza, as well as the representation of all the flavors Portland/OTTO offers.”

Our 2013 contest winner, Ella Trout, stated, “It’s very mature, especially for such a young artist! You can tell that a lot of thought and careful work has been put into this design, and I love how each slice of the pie represents something about Maine.”

OTTO’s designers are currently working on preparing Mali’s design for print. A version of this winning design will soon be printed on thousands of pizza boxes and distributed to all OTTO locations throughout New England. Mali will also receive a pizza party, a $100 OTTO gift card, a $100 Artist & Craftsman Supply gift card, an OTTO t-shirt, and an OTTO cap. King Middle School, where Mali attends, will receive a check for $1000 to support art education and a $250 Artist & Craftsman Supply gift card.

Way to go, Mali! We’re so excited to see this design on our boxes!


Mattea L-S
King Middle School
Returning judge Scott Nash, Portland-based illustrator of over 50 beloved children’s books, states, “Mattea’s madala symbolically conjures the aroma and taste of OTTO’s pizza. Garlic, smokey bacon, herbs, and a little char.”

Nash was impressed that, while offered the use of four colors, Mattea’s design is black and white, “which is very much a part of OTTO’s graphic identity.”

Clif Stoltze applauded the “gorgeous execution” of this “well-crafted entry.”

Ella Trout states, “I love this one because of the obvious skill this young artist possesses.” She cited Mattea’s design’s “captivating design qualities.” “You can’t help but look at it…It has a funkiness that is shared with OTTO.”

Mattea wins a pizza party, a $50 OTTO gift card, an OTTO t-shirt and hat, and a prize pack from Artist & Craftsman.  Congrats, Mattea!


Lilah G
King Middle School
Portland, ME
Multiple judges applauded the strong sense of composition and typography in Lilah’s design.

James states, “It recalls one of the most famous Constructivists (Rodchenko!) and OTTO is a great guiding light.”

Ella concurred, adding, “I really like this one for a lot of reasons: It’s strong from a composition/design sense, and I thought the lettering coming from the lighthouse was really cool and creative. It also continues the ‘classic Maine things’ theme.”

Lilah wins a pizza party, a $25 OTTO gift card, an OTTO t-shirt and hat, and a prize pack from Artist & Craftsman Supply! Nice job, Lilah!

It is worth pointing out — if you didn’t notice, ALL THREE WINNERS came from KING MIDDLE SCHOOL! Lest anyone shout “Collusion!” we must point out that, along with a few other schools, King rose to the challenge, with entire classrooms engaging in the contest, resulting in relatively high number of entries. We also believe that King’s ‘hat trick’ here speaks to the school’s uniqueness and its national reputation as a pioneer in education. Great job, King!

We can’t express how much we truly loved each and every one of the wonderful designs that were submitted.  Our judges and our customers agree. We wanted to highlight a few more finalists that caught the eye of our judges.

Jeremy G
Green Acres Elementary School
North Haven, CT
JeremyGScott Nash: “When judging, I view each of the designs multiple times. This one made me chuckle each time. Jeremy’s design is exuberant, expressive, and unusually well-composed. It also makes full use of four colors by overlapping red and yellow to create a vibrant inferno which by all rights should be hell for a lobster chef, but appears instead to be a sort of pizza paradise.”

Martin Sorger, MA-based veteran designer and creative strategist, echoed Nash’s sentiments: “It’s vibrant and fun. The little lobster chef is a great character. Puts a smile on your face.”

Hannah S
King Middle School
Portland, ME


Clif Stoltze: “Simple idea, very well executed.”

Martin Sorger applauded Hannah’s “beautifully stylized water and clouds.”





Anavi C
Wells Junior High School
Wells, ME


Martin Sorger: “Bold and simple, but playful and eye-catching.”






Hazel J
King Middle School
Portland, ME


James Spindler: “I love the very imaginative use of an iconic Maine lobster trap. It’s a great narrative — very fun!”





Cecelia Lewen
Gorham Arts Alliance
Gorham, ME
CeceliaScott Nash: “This design expresses the pure joy (and for some, the nostalgia) we share for pizza.”






Congratulations to all our talented artists and designers — winners, honorable mentions, finalists, and entrants! Each of you have done a wonderful job connecting and communicating with your communities through art and design. Through your art, you brought smiles to the faces of thousands from all over the world who followed and voted in the preliminary round of the contests. Your designs embodied the joys of food, the communal nature of pizza, the spirit of OTTO, and the unique beauty of New England.

We are confident that these artists will continue to make vital artistic contributions to their communities (and the world) for many years to come!

OTTO’s ‘Draw Outside of the Box’ Contest, Stage 2: Meet the Judges

At 9am on Monday, December 18th, the voting phase of the Draw Outside of the Box contest will come to a close.  On that day, the 30 entries with the most ‘Likes’ in our Facebook ‘Draw Outside of the Box’ album will move on to phase two, in which a panel of esteemed creative professionals (and one former winner!) will review each finalist’s entry and choose the three best designs.

Our panel of judges certainly have their work cut out for them.  Their task will be to single out the very best pizza box design of the 30 finalists — entries which have been competing for public votes (‘Likes’) since the contest began.  This winning design will then be prepared for printing, will go to press, and will become the face of OTTO’s pizza boxes throughout 12 locations (plus delivery and catering services) in MA and ME.  The winner will also receive a pizza party (for up to 30 students) at his/her school, a $100 OTTO gift card, a $100 Artist & Craftsman Supply gift card, an OTTO t-shirt, and an OTTO cap. The winner’s school will receive a check for $1000 to support art education and a $250 Artist & Craftsman Supply gift card.  First through third place will also win pizza and OTTO swag.

It’s a tough job, but we believe our panel is up for the task. (We’d like to mention that these fine and talented folks have volunteered their services for this very special occasion.)

Ladies and gentlemen, our 2017 ‘Draw Outside of the Box’ panel of judges:

Scott Nash
Scott_Nash2As a founding partner of BIG BLUE DOT, Corey McPherson Nash and NASHBOX, Scott Nash has developed an expertise in the branding and creative development of products and programming for the entertainment, consumer product and publishing worlds. In addition to designing identities for Nickelodeon, PBS, ABC, Comedy Central, FX, YTV, Scott’s design clients include American Girl, Disney, Harvard University, Mattel, Milton Bradley, NFPA, The Boston Pops and From the Top.

Scott’s work as a designer and illustrator has been recognized by leading trade organizations and publications such as The Academy for The Arts and Sciences (EMMY award), PROMAX, Broadcast Designers Association, American Institute of Graphic Arts, Society of Illustrators and HOW, Communications Arts, Print and Publishers Weekly Magazines.

He has lectured widely and taught at Boston University, Northeastern University, The Art Institute of Boston. Currently, he teaches at Maine College of Art, where he helped establish the illustration department.

Scott has illustrated over forty children’s books, including Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp! and The Bugliest Bug, Betsy, Who Cried Wolf! and Betsy, Red Hoodie, the series Snow Day! Beach Day! Rainy Day! and Camping Day! as well as the Flat Stanley series by Jeff Brown.

Scott is also a writer, and is the author/illustrator of TUFF FLUFF, The Case of Duckie’s Missing Brain and The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay The Pirate.

Martin Sorger
hs_bwMartin is a designer and creative strategist with over 25 years of experience. He has successfully launched, branded, and rebranded companies and products as both the client and a creative consultant. He has held the lead creative position at the film production company Walden Media, ThingWorld, a developer of multimedia technologies, and Gaming VC, an online gaming operator in Europe. Over the years, Martin has worked with entertainment, sports, technology, and consumer brands including OTTO, Harvard Medical School, Roche Bros., Reebok, Disney, Finagle a Bagel, HP, MIT, NEC, NFL, WWE, and BCBS.


Deborah Kovacs
Deborah Kovacs is Senior Vice President at Walden Media, a studio that produces films based on great children’s books, most recently WONDER. On behalf of Walden Media, she is responsible for Walden Pond Press, a middle-grade imprint published in partnership with HarperCollins.

James Spindler
5080-James_5X7BW-150x150James Spindler is a prolific creative director specializing in experiential, interactive and retail design projects with some of the world’s most innovative brands and cultural organizations. James’s projects include the critically acclaimed

Gagosian for iPad, a quarterly art application that provides unprecedented access to the global network of Gagosian fine artists and galleries, the Grammy® Award nominated Sting 25 music and tablet app project and collaboration with Maya Lin on ‘What Is Missing?,’ a permanent installation at the California Academy of Arts and Sciences. James and his team also developed the identity and interactive films for Mission Juno to Jupiter which received NASA’s Group Achievement Award.

James’s work has been recognized by the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, British Design and Art Direction, the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the New York Art Director’s Club, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Clios and the Grammy Awards among others.

James attended Pratt Institute’s Master’s Communication Design program and has been a featured guest lecturer at the School of Visual Arts/New York, Parsons: The New School for Design, VCU Brandcenter and the AIGA/NY. He has also had the privilege of speaking at Nicholas Negroponte’s TTi Vanguard Conference, Design as Strategy.

He is a member of the Curator’s Circle at the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Museum of Design and serves on the International Committee of the Russel Wright Design Center in New York.

Clif Stoltze
clifAs founder and creative director of Boston-based Stoltze Design Group, Clif has nurtured a highly collaborative environment that emphasizes a process based on research, sound strategy
and thorough exploration. This inclusive approach yields compelling communications that effectively articulate and reinforce the message or product.

His agency has been honored by AIGA, the Type Directors Club, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Graphis, and the Society of Publication Designers.

Clif has taught at Rhode Island School of Design and Massachusetts College of Art and frequently lectures at schools and design organizations around the country. He has served as AIGA Boston vice president and was honored as the recipient of their 2005 Fellow Award. Reflecting his love of music and album art, Clif’s book 1000 Music Graphics was published by Rockport in May of 2008 and he is also curator of POSTGIG, a traveling exhibit of contemporary music posters.

Ella Trout
image1As an eight grader, Ella Trout was the winner of OTTO’s very first ‘Draw Outside of the Box’ contest in 2013. Now seventeen, Ella has been taking college classes in addition to her high school courses, is painting “all the time” (she had a solo art opening last June), and has put her design skills to work by starting up her own clothing business, Yellowjacket.

Thanks to all of our judges! Best of luck to all our contestants!

Maine Mall OTTO: Your holiday refueling station

Why do the food court when you can do OTTO?DSC_6507

Tucked away in the office park located just a stone’s throw from The Maine Mall, OTTO’s spacious John Roberts Road location serves as a much-needed respite from the holiday shopping grind.

(While you’re in the shopping spirit, however, you may want to take advantage of our Buy One Get One Gift Card promotion!)

Along with dedicated parking, high ceilings, picnic tables, and an indoor bocce court, shoppers can enjoy pizza by the slice or whole pie, signature salads, and a full array of Maine Root sodas, local craft beer on tap, and wine. (We’re currently serving Autohelm, our collaboration with Rising Tide Brewing Company!)


Whether hitting The Maine Mall, Home Depot, or Clark’s Pond Cinemagic, shoppers have found OTTO to be a welcome addition to Mallside dining options.

In addition to dine-in, The Maine Mall OTTO also offers take-out, catering, and delivery throughout South Portland and parts of Scarborough, Westbrook, and Gorham.

Sunday–Thursday 11am – 9pm
Friday-Saturday 11am – 10pm

Come on by, put down your bags, and let us serve you.


Autohelm: OTTO and Rising Tide’s collaboration brew is back for a limited time!

We are pleased to announce the return of Autohelm, a deliciously hoppy amber ale brewed by Rising Tide Brewing Company in collaboration with OTTO.


Diners at OTTO restaurants in Maine and Massachusetts will be able to pair their pie with this delightful winter brew, which made its debut last year.

This limited special collaboration will be available exclusively at OTTO, as well as at the Rising Tide tasting room.

The beer is already available in Maine locations, with the Massachusetts launch party happening on Thursday, November 16 from 6-9pm, featuring OTTO’s Detroit-Style Pizza!

If you haven’t had an opportunity to try Autohelm, you should get a piece of the action before it’s all gone.

The brew has racked up a 3.75 rating on social beer discovery service Untappd, and a 3.95 on Beer Advocate, eliciting some of the following responses:

“Super solid!”
“Very solid hoppy amber. Piney hops with a strong malt backbone!”
“Pairs amazingly with pizza!”
“A sweet, hoppy Amber.”
“Very smooth. Almost creamy. Nice rich malts with hop balance.”
“Oh so good.”
“Great hoppy awesome. Full body with a little sweet.”
“Fan-freakin-tastic! Well done. Hoppy , refreshing, in a season of big heavy beers this was a refreshing change.”
“Wow that is delicious!”

Thirsty yet?

Come on down, grab a few pies, and a few glasses of Autohelm — and be sure to let us know what you think.

OTTO and Maine Root: A match made in heaven

What is it that makes Maine so special? Many point to its natural beauty, or the pioneering spirit of its people. Maine is a place where people work hard, fueled by a fierce independence and perseverance.


It’s a place where two guys frustrated by the uninspired state of pizza decided to put mashed potato on theirs in a tiny slice shop in 2009.  It’s a place where another guy got tired of serving too many bad root beers in his restaurant, and set out to make his own. It’s a place where small ideas and a dogged pursuit of excellence have changed the way people think about food.

We’re proud to announce that OTTO is now serving Maine Root’s certified Fair Trade organically-sweetened sodas in every location in Maine and Massachusetts.

Try a Ginger Brew paired with our Pulled Pork & Mango, a Blueberry Soda with our Butternut Squash, Cranberry & Ricotta, or Mexicane Cola with our Chicken, Caramelized Pears & Fontina.

So many flavors to pair with so many flavors!

It’s a match made in Maine.