Ending months of speculation regarding the former Lawrenceville Restaurant in Virgil, Niagara Now has gone beyond the grapevine and straight to the new owner of the property.
Joe Marchese, owner for 13 years of La Scala Ristorante in St. Catharines, was excited to share his plans.
“We’re opening a casual, rustic Italian bistro in the restaurant, called The Twisted Vine Kitchen and Market,” he said.
The restaurant will serve traditional Italian food, and “gelato too, made by Italian Ice Cream in Niagara Falls.”
Marchese said the restaurant will be open in the mornings as a café, serving fresh pastries and espresso-based coffees like cappuccino.
He is one of four partners who own the property, which includes a parking lot and a bed and breakfast.
The bed and breakfast will remain as it is — with some small improvements that have already been made.
The plans for the parking lot include parking, of course, but also planting some gardens and creating a small outdoor marketplace.
“We’d love to have small markets there, with local farmers selling produce, like tomatoes and fruit in the summer, pumpkins in the fall,” he said.
The Twisted Vine will also sell specialty Italian products like olive oil, balsamic vinegar and olives.
Plans are also to offer fresh-daily gluten-free breads and pastries.
“Virgil is thriving and growing, with all of the new development … It’s an exciting place, and we’re very happy to be opening up there,” Marchese said.
He is also looking forward to finding local sources for fresh produce and other products, and would like to connect with local farmers.
He said he struggled with finding the right name for months, and one day it struck him to name it after the grape vine — a twisted vine.
The plan is to open the Twisted Vine Kitchen and Market at 1504 Niagara Stone Rd. before October 1.