By Ryan Cornell
Two Winchester restaurants originally scheduled to open in September have delayed their start dates by a month.
Buca di Beppo, an Italian eatery located next to JC Penney at the Apple Blossom Mall, is hoping to serve its first plates of spaghetti in early October.
Larry Nelson, area director of marketing and business development for Simon Brand Ventures, the mall's owner, said the holdup is caused by typical construction delays as well as a few changes to the design of the restaurant. He said crews are currently working on rebuilding its façade.
The Planet Hollywood-owned franchise, which is broken down into differently themed rooms, is the only sit-down restaurant in the mall.
"We're excited," Nelson said. "It's the first one in the state of Virginia. It's great for our shoppers to have a sit-down restaurant. It prolongs their visit."
Across town, the new Piccadilly Street location for Joe's Steakhouse also has encountered some construction problems and renovations that are pushing its opening date back.
Sita Zarcufsky, marketing and events coordinator for the chain, said she's hoping for an October start date.
The restaurant has locations in Front Royal and Woodstock, where chef Jason Burns will be leaving to work at the historic mansion-turned-steakhouse in Winchester.
"It's going to be a little bit different," Zarcufsky said, noting that there might be some changes to the menu. "The other two are slightly more laidback. This one has a more upscale atmosphere."
Co-owner Joe Wobbe said he's planning on completing the first phase of construction, opening two floors and 150 total seats, in October. He said the second phase, increasing the total capacity to 300 seats and turning the basement into a German beer cellar, is scheduled to finish in the summer of 2014.
"The building is so rich in history," he said. "The workmanship is phenomenal. It's gorgeous and eye-popping. We're opening this building up to its grandeur."
Wobbe said they will start their hiring process for about 40 to 50 employees in mid-September. Applications are being accepted at joessteak.com.
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or email@example.com