A new pizza restaurant and specialty food market is one step closer to opening at 101 S. Hudson St., just a few blocks from the future Unity Park.
Belladina’s Little Italy, the new restaurant and food market from family team Joseph Leccese, his wife, Megan, and his father, Potito, aims to combine authentic Italian food with a focus on family and community. The owners applied for a special exemption to allow for outdoor seating, which was approved at the Greenville Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on Aug. 14.
“Pizza is family-friendly and affordable cuisine,” the owners said in their application to the Zoning Board. “Dining inside or al fresco in the courtyard, the restaurant will be a neighborhood amenity that will contribute to defining the ‘sense of place’ along that block of Hudson Street.”
But the final result of what Belladina’s will look like is not yet fully resolved. The owners applied for a beer and wine license, which has received pushback from some neighbors, including the nearby Miracle Hill Ministries Greenville Rescue Mission. Representatives from Miracle Hill opposed any venue that served alcohol so close to where recovering addicts would be housed. Similar community pushback already led to a previous prospective tenant, Nautic Brewery, of which Joseph Leccesse is also a partner, to pull out of the location.
Belladina’s owners argued “a local restaurant and specialty food market will pose no greater nuisance to the surrounding community,” according to its application.
The restaurant’s owners are now moving forward with plans to open in late 2020. Other Belladina’s pizza locations are currently in the works for 9 Washington St., in the former Luna Rosa Gelato Café space, and another in the new Silos in Easley development.