Marco Gambino had a good reason to name his new restaurant La Vera.
“La Vera” means truth in Italian, and Gambino wants to bring true Sicilian pizza to Manchester.
Gambino, a native of Sicily and part of the family that runs Bella Sicilia restaurant in Goochland, on Wednesday opened La Vera Pizza RVA, taking over for Papa’s Pizza at 214 Hull St.
Gambino took over the space at the end of August and moved quickly to prepare the restaurant for customers. He cites the ongoing development as part of what attracted him to open his business in Manchester.
“It’s really changing,” Gambino said of the area’s population increase.
La Vera is leasing the space from Tom Papa of Fountainhead Properties. Papa said the previous operator of the pizza shop decided to sell the assets to Gambino and return to Italy for awhile.
“I drove by this area. I have friends that live here, so I always saw this building,” Gambino said. “I always wanted to be here.”
Gambino said they did some renovations to the building, such as redoing the roof, replacing blinds and adding new flooring.
“We stayed here until two or three o’clock in the morning just to get everything ready,” Gambino said of making the final touches.
La Vera obtains its produce from V.F. Lanasa, the fruit and vegetable wholesaler down the block, and makes its mozzarella cheese in-house.
Marco and his father Joe operate the kitchen, while their friend Kris Krumm runs the cash register. They’ve also hired two delivery people and plan to hire more as the restaurant settles into the neighborhood.