The old pizza and pasta destination will continue serving Italian cuisine under a new name in Lehigh County.
Bella Pizza, which has operated for three years at 21 E. Main St. In Richland, County of Lebanon, plans to open a second location, Bella Pizza 2, next week at 578 Chestnut Street in Emmaus.
Owner Michele D’Agostino said the tentative opening date is Wednesday.
Emmaus has been home to Joe’s Pizza II and the Italian restaurant since 2007, but Joe’s recently announced that Emmaus’ last day of business will be Sunday.
“Our family has come to the conclusion that this is what is best for our family,” reads a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “Thank you to the Emmaus community for the top 15 years! We wouldn’t be able to do this without your love and support.”
Early next week, D’Agostino and his crew are looking to complete several renovations, including new lighting, wall paint, overhanging ceiling, and kitchen equipment.
“We will be installing a lot of completely new items and we will be working around the clock for three straight days, even at night,” D’Agostino said.
D’Agostino has decades of experience in the restaurant industry, including previous operations of other Lehigh Valley restaurants such as Mama’s Italian Grill locations in Breinigsville and Walnutport with his brother-in-law, Giuseppe de’ Fiori.
The Di Fiori family – Giueseppe, his wife Palmira and their children – Antonella, Lidia and Mario – continue to operate the Fiorentina Grill in Breinigsville.
“My family and I have had many years in the restaurant business,” D’Agostino said. “I am 45 years old, starting in Brooklyn, New York, before moving to Lehigh Valley in 1985. Our first pizzeria was Mama’s Italian Grill in Walnutport. Then we had other restaurants in Slatington, Copley and Bringsville.”
Customers can expect the same menu as that offered at the original Bella Pizza 2, D’Agostino said at Bella Pizza 2, which will be open daily for lunch and dinner.
The menu features starters such as buffalo calamari, fried zucchini, Italian rice balls and cheese spring rolls; pasta dishes such as sorrento gnocchi, nguine with white clam sauce, lobster ravioli, and pasta carbonara; salads like Greek avocado, harvest apple, Cajun shrimp, and strawberry spinach; And entrees like chicken piccata, mussels marinara, shrimp scampi and veal francis.
The gourmet pizza, available in 14- and 16-inch sizes, includes items such as baked ziti, bacon cheese fries, bruschetta, pierogi, chicken Florentine, Italian tacos, and shrimp Fra d’Avolo. Gluten-free, Sicilian and Grandma pizza are also available.
Other menu items include burgers, hot and cold subs, paninis, club sandwiches, wraps, strombolis, calzones, quesadillas, burgers, and desserts such as gelato, tiramisu, and zippole.
“Our goal is to provide you with the best possible experience with the hope that you and your family will come back again and again,” reads a message on the Bella Pizza website. “At Bella Pizza, quality and service can also be experienced with our catering service. We have proven our expertise at catering parties, weddings, birthdays, corporate events, retirement banquets, award ceremonies and many other events of all kinds.”
Bella Pizza 2 will occupy a renovated space that has housed Joe’s Pizza II for 15 years.
Owner Joe Amato opened Emmaus in 2007 after the success of the original Joe’s Pizza, which debuted on Hamilton Boulevard in Trexlertown in 1992.
A third location, Joe’s Pizza III, opened in 2009 on Tilghman Street in Upper Macungie Township but that location closed a few years ago.