A long dormant and recently foreclosed restaurant on Broad Street near the Boulevard is getting a taste of la dolce vita.
Sicily native and Richmond restaurateur Joe Lo Presti and his family, who own six other pizzerias and Italian restaurants in the area, are planning Pane E Vino Winebar & Trattoria in the 5,000-square-foot former Julian’s space at 2617 W. Broad St.
“It’s a new concept for us,” Lo Presti said. “It will be a nice wine bar where a couple or singles can come in and enjoy a glass of wine.”
The restaurant will also serve bread, meats, cheeses, roasted vegetables, fresh mozzarella and the like, he said.
The Lo Presti family also owns Maldini’s Ristorante Italiano on Forest Hill Avenue, Piccola’s near VCU on Main Street, Pronto Pizzeria on Broad Street in the West End, Mediterraneo near Winterfield and Robious roads, Mary Angela’s in Carytown and Ariana’s Grill in Devil’s Triangle and Lakeside.
Lo Presti said the build-out on the Julian’s space should run about $200,000.
“That’s what we’re thinking right now, but with restaurants, you almost never know what you are getting into,” he said. “The owners will help out a lot, though.”
The property owner is Thalhimer Realty Partners, the development wing of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, which purchased the property from Village Bank for $700,000 in November.
Village foreclosed on the building after its previous owner, strip club operator Sam Moore, was shipped off to prison.
Matt Raggi, an associate with Thalhimer, said the Lo Presti family was exactly what they were looking for to fill the Julian’s space.
“We were looking for a long-term operator – and local if we could find it – and that’s exactly what we got,” Raggi said. “Joe and his team have been around for a long time. They are good operators, and we are exited to have them.”
Thalhimer is planning six apartments above the restaurants: two two-bedroom apartments and four one-bedroom apartments. They will rent for $1,050 and $750 per month, respectively.
MGT, Thalhimer’s construction arm, will do the build-out for Pane E Vino and the apartments.
Raggi said Thalhimer would submit plans for the building to the city April 1 and hoped to have the property, including the restaurant, up and running by the end of July.
Behind the restaurant, the firm is planning four duplex homes on what is currently a parking lot. Those will also be built at the same time.
Corinthian Construction will be the general contractor for that project. In total, the build-out will run about $2 million, Raggi said.