Bringing back the family restaurant: Fratelli’s opening in downtown Springfield

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A new restaurant, Fratelli?s famiglia ristorante opens Thursday is downtown Springfield.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Downtown Springfield will welcome a new Italian restaurant on Thursday afternoon.

Fratelli’s Famiglia Ristorante, which is Italian for Brother’s Family Restaurant, is owned by Peter and Dominic Catanzaro. The restaurant will be the brother’s first.

“We are bringing back the family restaurant. We want that relaxed, family atmosphere,” Peter Catanzaro said. “We wanted a place where you can come on Sunday after church and have a glass of wine and sit with your family.”

The new restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Springfield at 42 N. Fountain Ave. Fratelli’s will join other businesses along the avenue including Le Torte Dolci, Salato Deli, Champion City Guide + Supply, Winans Chocolates & Coffees, Stella Bleu Bistro and Sip & Dipity Paint Bar on Fountain Avenue.

“This corner is like gold,” Peter Catanzaro said. “We had always talked about opening something like this, but I would never have thought we would have had the chance for something like this here.”

The space was home to Buffalo Wild Wings for 13 years before it closed in May of 2012 due to lack of sales, the Springfield News-Sun reported at the time.

Voodoo Moon House of Blues and Brews and Jazzy G’s Gentlemen’s Club opened in October 2017, but the bar and club closed in June 2018.

The location has sat empty since then.

Peter Catanzaro said renovations on Fratelli’s have been extensive and included pulling up carpet and rearranging everything from the bar to the bathrooms.

“It’s been a lot,” Peter Catanzaro said.

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Dominic Catanzaro said the restaurant’s menu will feature typical Italian dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and chicken parmesan, but will also offer specialty items.

“We are going to have a lunch and a dinner menu,” Dominic Catanzaro said. “The lunch menu will predominately feature subs, salads and soups.”

The restaurant will also feature a fully stocked bar.

Fratelli’s plans to open gradually, Peter Catanzaro said, with a soft opening and limited menu on Thursday from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. Hours for the rest of the opening weekend are: Friday from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m., Saturday from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 7 p.m.

The restaurant will not offer its complete menu until later next week.

“We are just kind of baby-stepping into this,” Dominic Catanzaro said. “We know there are going to be mistakes that happen. But we just hope we keep those limited.”

Fratelli’s is just one of many restaurants that have opened — or plan to open — their doors in downtown Springfield recently.

Bubby’s Chicken & Waffles, a former food truck, moved prematurely inside the Bushnell Building in December.

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Three more new restaurants are slated to open in COhatch The Market, located on 101 S. Fountain Ave., in early to mid-March — Fresh Abilities and Iron Works.

Fresh Abilities is a salad restaurant inspired by Porttion, a Columbus-based start-up, and will serve salads, soups and smoothies.

Ironworks Waffle Cafe is a waffle concept restaurant created by a mother and daughter team that will serve breakfast, lunch and dessert waffles.

Crust & Company will focus on providing customers with freshly baked bread as well as authentic Roman-style pizza.