In late October, I reported that the building at 213 Williamson Road in downtown Roanoke, which for years housed Arzu Mediterranean Restaurant, had been sold to an unknown buyer. The rumor has been swirling ever since that New York Pizza in Vinton purchased the building.
Now, public real estate records show the building was purchased by Vincenzo Montuori for $450,000. The building was originally listed two years ago for $900,000, but the latest listing was for $649,000.
Montuori is the son of Tony Montuori, who opened New York Pizza in 1982. On Thursday, Vincenzo confirmed that he purchased the building but said he is not ready to publicly discuss his plans for the place. He told me he might be ready to share more information in about a month.
Sadly, Tony Montuori passed away in August 2011. Since then, his family – including wife Lenora, children Vincenzo and Kristina, and extended family members – have continued to operate one of the most popular pizzerias in the Roanoke Valley.
Also on Thursday, I talked to Halil Demerci, whose father opened Arzu in 1996.
Demerci told me Arzu’s last day in business was Saturday. He isn’t sure what he will tackle next but said he needs to help his family rebuild their house in Turkey, which was destroyed by a fire in January. They had finished remodeling it into a bed and breakfast just before the fire and had planned to open it this past summer. He doesn’t know whether they will turn it into a bed and breakfast now.
Demerci had this message for Arzu customers: “I’d like to thank everyone for their business over the last 16 years. We’ve gotten to know a lot of people. We really appreciate everything.”
Best of luck to the Demerci family.
I’m sure this news will create intense curiosity among New York Pizza fans. Will the younger Montuori open a second New York Pizza location in downtown Roanoke? Will he open an entirely different restaurant there? Will it be a restaurant at all? I will be sure to keep you posted.
Meanwhile, what would YOU like to see happen in that space?