SOUTHINGTON — Meriden restaurateurs plan to open a pizza and Italian food spot in the former Tavern 42 location in Plantsville.
Mike Mingolello, owner of Wise Guys Pizza & Deli on West Main Street in Meriden, intends to sign a lease for the 8,500 square-foot space this weekend. Many details of the new restaurant, including the name, are to be determined.
“We’re definitely bringing pizza over there,” Mingolello said. “The rest of the menu we’re still working on.
“It’s not going to be the run-of-the-mill Italian cuisine,” he added.Expanding from Wise Guys
Mingolello said Wise Guys has a strong following from Southington. The new location is also close to the Meriden location and will allow Mingolello and other owners to manage both restaurants easily.
Wise Guys won’t change and Mingolello said the Southington restaurant will be its own business. He was glad to find the building at 42 W. Main St.
“We needed a sit down. There’s really nothing (of this size) in Meriden,” he said. “We’ve expanded so quick and so many of our customers want to sit down and eat and have a drink.”
Dean Michanczyk, owner of the West Main Street building and the adjacent Dean’s Stove and Spa, said the Wise Guys management was a good fit for the location.
“This family has been in the restaurant business for a while,” Michanczyk said. “They’ve been in it a long time. They’ve had a lot of good success behind them.”
With catering experience as well, Michanczyk was confident that Mingolello would be able to handle a larger restaurant as well as a shortage of help.
“They’re used to getting a lot of food out very quickly,” Michanczyk said. “With the type of menu that they’re talking about, I don’t think it relies as heavily on waitresses and waiters.”
Michanczyk is providing the pizza ovens for the restaurant.Tavern 42 move
Tavern owners couldn't agree on a new lease with their former landlord, Michanczyk, and moved out earlier this year.
Cheryl Moran, an owner of Tavern 42 along with Barry DePaolo, said she’s still looking for a location for the restaurant. The pair want to keep the restaurant in Southington and are struggling with a staffing shortage.
The move was a bit of a relief, Moran said, allowing her and DePaolo to focus on their other restaurant — Anthony Jack’s in downtown Southington. They’re planning a 20th year anniversary remodel at that location later this year that’ll require their attention.
“We’ve not forgotten about tavern. We’ve taken our time, we want to do it right,” Moran said.