Roma’s Restaurant & Pizza is back in business. The popular Italian eatery, formerly known as Roma Pizza & Restaurant, reopened March 1 in the South Park Shopping Center on Whiskey Road.
“We just did a soft opening so we don’t get chaotic while all the construction is still going on,” said Roma’s owner, Pasquale Brancaccio. “As soon as that gets over with, we’ll announce that we’re officially open.”
Roma’s closed in mid-July because of a major renovation project at South Park major, and the restaurant will be the only previous tenant remaining in the shopping center when the work is completed.
One reason Brancaccio said he decided not to relocate Roma’s was “there were no places that we could find that were big enough to really accommodate the large parties we have at times.”
Another reason, according to Roma’s manager, Andria Mikkola, was the scheduled opening of The Fresh Market later this year at South Park. The upscale grocery store will make the shopping center “a prime location,” she said.
Originally, Roma’s was supposed to be closed for 90 days. But the hiatus ended up lasting for more than six months because the renovation was so extensive.
“It was a long, long time, so it was very hard,” Brancaccio said.
He and Mikkola kept busy for part of that time, making some changes in Roma’s.
“We painted and redecorated, and we got some different furniture,” Mikkola said. “We used to be kind of an outdated, homey, family kind of restaurant. Now, we’ve upgraded Roma’s to a modern Italian restaurant with a more simple style.”
A seafood dish, zuppa di pesce, and veal marsala have been added to Roma’s menu, but many customer favorites are still being served.
“We also have new homemade fresh soups,” Mikkola said. Roma’s hours are 4 p.m. to closing (about 9 p.m., according to Mikkola) Monday through Saturday.
Roma’s is scheduled to begin serving lunch before the end of the March.
Even though the restaurant is in the same location, it has a new address: 1376 Whiskey Road.
STAFF PHOTO BY DEDE BILES Customer Rhett Sinclair, left, is greeted by Roma’s owner Pasquale Brancaccio at the newly reopened restaurant.×
STAFF PHOTO BY DEDE BILES Roma’s owner Pasquale Brancaccio, left, and manager Andria Mikkola are ready for returning customers at the newly reopened restaurant.×