SOUTHINGTON — A restaurant group owned by Geno Auriemma plans to open a new location in the former Bonterra Grill and Pizzeria on Main Street.
A manager at Geno’s Grille in Storrs said the new restaurant will be remodeled to resemble the Storrs location and will include a similar menu.
Auriemma’s group has restaurants throughout the state, including Geno’s Fast Break at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
Dave Sorgenti, Geno’s Grille manager, said an opening date has not been set. He was at the new location Monday meeting with contractors.
“We’re going to add a little bit of our style in Storrs,” he said. “We’re going to try to emulate the Storrs look. It’s a good model.”
Art Secondo, president of the Southington Chamber of Commerce, said he has heard that Auriemma’s son Michael will head the restaurant. Michael Ariemma is a manager at the casino location but Sorgenti didn’t confirm whether he will work at the new restaurant.
Secondo was pleased the town had attracted a prominent restaurant group owned by the head coach of the UConn women’s basketball team. Auriemma has led the Huskies to nine national championships.
“Maybe we’re a better town than even I profess,” he said.
Sorgenti said downtown Southington’s proximity to ESPN in Bristol was a factor in selecting the location.
“That is definitely part of our target audience,” he said.
Bonterra was owned by Suzanne DePaolo, according to town records. A recorded phone message said the restaurant was closed for renovations. It was opened in late 2007 by Barry DePaolo and Cheryl Moran. DePaolo also owns Anthony Jack’s restaurant on Center Street. Barry DePaolo could not be reached for comment.
Michael DelSanto, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission chairman and a downtown property owner, said Auriemma’s restaurant would be a boost to the area.
“Getting a big name in Southington will bring people,” DelSanto said.
Local developer Mat Florian owns the building at 98 Main St., which is at the corner of Main Street and Columbus Avenue near the Town Green. Florian could not be reached for comment Wednesday.