Sammy Ramadani has heard Spencer misses good Italian food.
Even in Algona, where he owns Napoli’s, Ramadani said he often hears from people about how they missed the Napoli’s in Spencer.
“Everybody who came to my restaurant in Alonga told me they missed the Italian restaurant in Spencer,” he said. “I thought it was probably a good idea to bring that food to Spencer.”
Ramadani plans to open his Spencer restaurant, Italy Pasta and Pizza, in about 20 to 30 days at the former Pizza Hut location at 723 South Grand Avenue.
A sign announcing “Italian Restaurant Coming Soon” was placed outside the building a couple of weeks ago.
Now, Ramadani is ready to share more about his plans.
Italy Pasta and Pizza’s menu will feature many varieties of pasta, pizza, sandwiches, subs, beer and – of course – wine.
“People that want to eat good Italian food, they need to have a good wine,” Ramadani said. “If you go to an Italian restaurant, you eat good food and you drink good wine.”
Ramadani claimed the pizza will quickly become known as the best in town.
He said his pizzas are a hit in Algona because they are made from scratch, very reasonably priced and larger than pizza’s sold elsewhere.
Though Italy Pasta and Pizza is Ramadani’s first business in Spencer, he has connections that put the town on his radar.
He is friends with the former owner of the Spencer and Algona Napoli’s locations, Tony Avdiu. He’s also known building owner and local developer Bill Muller for a long time, he said.
Those connections had Ramadani eyeing Spencer ever since Napoli’s closed last year. He said he first looked at opening a restaurant here when that restaurant closed, but there were no suitable locations.
Then Pizza Hut moved to its new building, the former home of Napoli’s at 1019 South Grand Avenue Suite 4. Muller also owns that building.
Ramadani said Muller liked the idea of bringing an Italian restaurant back to Spencer.
When open, the interior layout will be similar to Pizza Hut’s, with the kitchen and dining area remaining the same size. Though there’s still work being done, some changes already have been made to the counter area and a partial wall separates the dining room and kitchen.
“It’s kind of small, but I think it’s going to be OK,” Ramadani said of the dining room.
There will be outdoor seating on the patio when weather allows, he said.
Visibility shouldn’t be a problem for Italy Pasta and Pizza. Ramadani said he’s very happy with being right on Grand Avenue.
Ramadani lives in Texas, but he said he’ll mostly be in Spencer, watching over the restaurant.
“I’m going to be here most of the time,” he said. “I have my son. He’s going to be here all the time.”
Feature photo: Sammy Ramadani stands behind the counter inside the future home of Italy Pasta and Pizza, an Italian restaurant he’s opening soon in Spencer. The restaurant will be located at 723 South Grand Avenue.