SOUTHINGTON — A family with members in town and in Italy plan to open a pizza restaurant on Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike this fall.
Luigi Camputaro of Southington and his daughter Marina Geraci will be joined by Camputaro’s three nephews from southern Italy in running the venture. They plan to open Mamma Mia Restaurant at 1765 Meriden-Waterbury Tpke. in the fall and are working on the former diner now.
“We’re hoping for a very welcoming environment, like when you’re going to your Italian grandmother’s and she wants you to eat all day,” Geraci said.
Mamma Mia will specialize in personal size pizzas common in southern Italy. Camputaro’s three nephews, all chefs, run a banquet facility in Italy and will be “back and forth” while helping with the restaurant.
“They’ll be coming and cooking,” Geraci said. “They will be in the kitchen, checking the dishes.”
Ralph Secondo, a local chef, said he’s impressed with the family and said their banquet facility in Italy is “magnificent.”
”They really have some great ideas. They want to bring three chefs from Italy, a wood-fired pizza oven from Italy,” Secondo said.
The oven has been ordered and Geraci expects delivery in October. It’ll be a major feature of the restaurant and they won’t open without it, she said.
The restaurant will have tables and offer take-out. Many of the pizza, pasta, meat and fish dishes will be made from scratch. Geraci said they’re hoping to get approval for beer and wine sales as well.
While working on renovating the restaurant location, Geraci said her father has been approached by customers of the former diner curious about what’s going in next.
“People have been stopping in thinking the diner is still there,” she said. “They’re definitely noticing,”