By Sally Voth
Apple Blossom Mall will be the site of Virginia's first Buca di Beppo Italian restaurant this summer.
The family style restaurant is schedule to open later this year next to JC Penney, according to a news release.
With it will come 85 jobs, the release states. The eatery can seat up to 200 people.
"The Buca di Beppo dining experience is truly unique and stays true to the core elements of high quality meals and great value in a fun atmosphere for family dining," Buca Inc. President Rick Tasman states in the release. "With its strong foot traffic, and a diverse demographic audience, we feel that the Apple Blossom Mall is a great fit for the on-going growth of the Buca di Beppo brand."
Diners will be able to get into the restaurant both from inside the mall and outside, according to the release, and the interior will feature "quirky décor, complete with irreverent photographs, strings of multi-colored decorative lights, wine room, famous Pope table..."
There also will be a bar inside the restaurant.
Buca di Beppo submitted plans to Winchester City Hall on Thursday, according to Larry Nelson, area director of mall marketing and business development for Simon Brand Ventures and Simon Property Group.
"We're excited because it's the latest milestone in this whole renovation project," he said.
Apple Blossom Mall is in the midst of its first renovation since it opened about three decades ago. Besides the mall being overhauled, its six-screen movie theater is being replaced with a 12-screen multiplex.
Buca di Beppo is owned by Planet Hollywood International, and there are nearly 100 locations in the U.S., Mexico and Europe, according to the release.
Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org