SOUTHINGTON — Avventura Bakery & Deli reopened on Knotter Drive nearly a year after a fire closed the restaurant.
Rami Macari owns the shop and manages it with his father, Robert Macari. They first opened in 2018 but a fire last November forced them to close.
A long rebuilding process has finally finished, Robert Macari said, allowing them to reopen Sunday.
Despite the difficulty in rebuilding during materials shortages, Robert Macari said closing for good wasn’t an option.
“We owe it to our community. We have a built a clientele, a nice customer base. They were just as devastated as us. We had no option but to reopen,” he said Monday.
Rami Macari started the Southington location at 30 Knotter Drive after working at a similarly named bakery and deli in Waterbury, which is now closed. Macari said many of the customers of that deli, originally Cavallo’s Deli in the 1960s, have moved to Southington.
Southington residents Christine and Kurt Ryder said it had been their tradition to visit the Knotter Drive shop every Friday. They were glad to return on Monday.
Kurt Ryder gets a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich while his wife gets an egg and cheese sandwich.
“They remembered I like hot sauce on mine,” Christine Ryder said. “They remembered our order. It was like going home.”
Scott Berling, a Meriden resident and a truck driver, said Avventura is one of his favorite sandwich spots in the state. He was surprised but glad that they’d reopened after a year. Unfortunately he’d just thrown away coupons for the deli, thinking they were closed for good.
Berling is hoping the restaurant brings back the long hot peppers to complete his favorite order.
“The buffalo chicken wrap with the long hot peppers is just to die for,” he said.
“I prefer family-owned,” he said. That’s what Avventura is, a family-owned business.”
During the rebuild, Avventura owners replicated the look of their former business. The fire, which started in a janitor’s closet, required the entire shop to be remodeled.
“We had to rebuild everything,” Robert Macari said. “We’re finally open again… It was a long journey.”
The shop did add pickup lockers, which customers can use to get phone or online orders. That allows for contactless pickup and allows customers to avoid the lines during busy hours.
“It gets kind of crazy during lunch. We hope it’ll alleviate some of the congestion we have here,” Robert Macari said.
The menu is mostly the same. Hours on Sunday were extended and now run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other days of the week Avventura is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.