Reno’s Family Restaurant celebrating 55 years of business

4 years ago

CARIBOU, Maine — People from Aroostook County and beyond have been enjoying Reno’s Family Restaurant’s one-of-a-kind pizzas for over half a century, with the Caribou eatery celebrating its 55th anniversary this year. 


Founded by Renaud “Reno” Corriveau in 1965, the early incarnation of the business involved making pizzas in-house, freezing them and distributing them to stores across The County. In the early 1980s, it began serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in addition to its signature pies. 

Reno’s brothers, Danny and Nelson Corriveau, have owned and operated the restaurant since Reno retired in 2007.

“Reno founded the restaurant on a Friday the 13th,” said Danny Corriveau, joking that his brother “wasn’t superstitious.”

Despite starting out on an unlucky day, the restaurant has since had plenty of good fortune and garnered countless dedicated customers. They were recognized as the number-one restaurant in Aroostook County by the Bangor Metro in 2012, and later as the ninth best restaurant in the state by the website

Reviews aside, many who have tried one of Reno’s signature pizzas will often find themselves returning to the restaurant again.

Danny Corriveau said it’s not uncommon to see customers visiting family in the summer stop by the restaurant before doing anything else.

“People will come back to Caribou and say ‘I gotta have my pizza. I haven’t even been home yet,’” he said.

Though the pizzas clearly distinguish themselves from others, it’s not easy to pinpoint exactly what qualities contribute to their unique flavor. Without giving away any family secrets, Corriveau said he treats each pizza as if it were “a piece of art.”

“It’s not a skimpy product,” he said. “The coverage is good, so you get the flavors of everything coming out from the crust to the end. It’s loaded, but it’s not overloaded.”

After working with their brother Reno for decades, the Corriveaus have also established a connection with nearly all of their customers based on their pizza preferences.

“If a customer comes up to me and tells me ‘That’s just the best pizza I’ve ever eaten,’ then I know what they like,” Danny Corriveau said. “There are some people who like their pizza really cooked in the oven for a while and others like it soft. I might not recognize everyone by name, but I can usually tell how they like their pizza.”

While many businesses in Caribou and Aroostook County closed after Loring Air Force Base shut down in the early 1990s, Reno’s signature pizza remained a staple in America’s most northeastern city. 

“It was a lot tougher,” Danny Corriveau said. “Fortunately the mortgage was paid off when the base closed, which helped offset the loss of income from all those extra people.”

Just a year after taking over the restaurant in 2007, the Corriveau brothers were faced with the 2008 recession. 

“We were kind of flat for a couple years, but business is on the up again now,” Danny Corriveau said. 

As the brothers come closer to retirement, he said one concern is determining a new owner for the business.

“We don’t have a family member left to operate the restaurant,” he said. “We’re hoping we can find a younger person interested in taking over. We still have a few years left, but we’ll have to make a decision somewhere down the road.”

Danny Corriveau added that he plans to continue running the restaurant for the next 10 years, adding that the community’s support has been invaluable throughout their 55-year run. 

“We try to give back to the community,” he said. “Sometimes we’ll make pizza for firefighters who have been out all night long, and we help out people at our hospital, too. The people here have been fantastic. It’s been a wonderful place to make a living and raise a family.”