Salem’s favorite Italian restaurant is bringing its crave-worthy garlic knots and other Italian specialties to Roanoke. Dominic Marletta, owner of Mamma Maria’s in Salem since 2006, said he hopes to open the second location at Picadilly Square on Franklin Road in June.
The Salem location, at 2025 West Main Street, has been open since 1996. In 2011, Marletta opened a pizzeria at Lakeside Plaza called Mamma’s Pizza, so this will be the third restaurant he owns or co-owns.
The Roanoke restaurant will be located in the space that housed SoRo Chill & Grille, which closed at the end of 2012. Marletta said he also looked at the space that used to house The Library (that restaurant closed in September), but the other was more updated on the inside and more visible from the road. Now, the SoRo space is being “freshened up” inside, he said, with new paint and some new decor.
Antonio Zuccarelli, a friend of Marletta’s father, has moved to Roanoke from Boca Raton, Florida to manage the restaurant and cook. Marletta said Zuccarelli has 40 years of experience as a chef. Much like the Salem version, the Roanoke restaurant will serve Italian entrees and pizza, with the addition of steaks. Marletta also wants to start serving homemade gelato and might have a family-style service on Sundays.
He said he’s still considering what to call the Roanoke location and whether it will have a buffet. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner every day except Monday, when it will be closed.
I’ll let you know more when it gets closer to the opening date.